Why I never play the lottery

Dan wrote today about the political manipulation of the poor. Well, no where is this more clear than in state-run lotteries. I never play because it’s a waste of money. And with five children, I don’t have money to burn. But some might argue that it’s fun to plunk down a buck or two even for that extremely remote chance of winning. State governments make millions off those irrat... More
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Can ‘Social Justice’ Be Saved?

There are folks fighting for the phrase “social justice” by seeking to serve those words with policies that make it a bit more authentic than it can sometimes be, and with some consistency. That’s what a project at the Acton Institute, PovertyCure, is about. I mention it in my syndicated column this week, and talked to Acton president Fr. Robert Sirico a bit more about it: What is PovertyCur... More

In Which I Say Sisterly Things about the Nuns on the Bus

Here. Please let me know what you think. And here is a quote from Cardinal Wuerl, from his book, Seek First the Kingdom, that in part speaks to the spirit in which that column was written: we need to examine how we talk, because we ourselves are media. As ambassadors of God’s kingdom, we need — with every word and gesture — to live out our commitment. We need to be a people of... More

Uncharitable experiment

“Homeless people as wireless transmitters.” When I first heard of this story, I was horrified, but I’m at least (partially) relieved by the backlash. At this year’s SXSW conference, a marketing company called BBH Labs paid 13 homeless people to walk around the conference providing people with an Internet connection. Their T-shirts bore their name and re-classified them not ... More
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Reader: Knives come out for Perry at debate, Poverty rate jumps, Obama losing Hispanic support

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. At last night’s Republican presidential debate, Rick Perry got jabbed from the Left on Social Security and from the Right on the HPV vaccination mandate and immigration. Tea Party activist Dana Loesch and GOP insider Alex Castellanos agreed that Bachmann improved her position, but that Perry and Romney rem... More

Jesus wouldn’t cut a single program. of course, He didn’t call for them either.

The Good Samaritan: Example of Charity? Or Early Medicare Provider? In the wake of the much-ballyhooed correspondence between Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Congressional Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a group called “Catholics United” issued a press release titled, “Catholics Ask Archbishop Dolan: What Anti-Poverty Programs Would Jesus Cut?” The archbishop, if he were ... More

Making Poverty More Expensive

Regressive taxation. That’s when the taxes the government levies disproportionately hit those with less money than those with more money. They sound like something only an out-of-touch, snooty, oligarchical, oppressive, “let-them-eat-cake” sort of government would do, no? Heh. If only. Taxes on gasoline are a prime example: everyone who pulls up to the pump pays the same amount o... More

Modern Political Demagoguery: Making Poverty More Expensive.

Who wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon to soak the rich? I mean, when the economy is sour and scads of people are out of work, those who seem to still be doing just fine ought to be made to contribute a little (or even a lot) more, right? It’s good social justice to force those who have to fork over more, right? Happily, we’re finally seeing that in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, New J... More

Liberal Catholic academics send Boehner an uncharitable and deeply-flawed letter

A group of liberal Catholic academics, led by professors at Catholic University, have written a public letter to Catholic Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) calling for protection of social-welfare programs that they argue are mortally threatened by the current budget proposal. The lead signatory, Professor Stephen Schneck, invokes the Gospel mandate to help the poor—to ensure that “the ... More

Making Poverty More Expensive: Your Government At Work

If I didn’t know better I’d think the government were intentionally trying to create an underclass of people entirely dependent on the government. For all the talk about how they’re all “fighting for the poor,” our elected and unelected officials have been doing quite a bit lately to make poverty far less affordable. Which was it that pushed you out onto the streets? ... More

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