Social conservatives must consider what components of marriage, parenting, education, and individual wellbeing are NOT impacted by economic considerations. Whether it’s parents being harmed by unduly high tax burdens as they raise responsible children, or children being held hostage in failed public schools because state and local governments refuse to allow parents any choices with how their educational dollars are spent - - we’re talking about the family, AND we’re talking about economics. And they both matter.
If you still don’t think economic issues matter here, or if you don’t think there are moral, and even “spiritual” dimensions to economic concerns, then ask yourself this: How would you respond to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards, and their assertions that a “compassionate” society would never let anyone be without healthcare?
Caring for the needy is, obviously, a Judeo-Christian imperative, and when American liberals articulate their utopian visions of “universal healthcare,” it has a profound emotional appeal. Further, when they dress up these kinds of policy positions with lots of “What Would Jesus Do?” type rhetoric (as they have lately), the policies become compelling for plenty of people in the pews.
But what about the economics that underly this vision? Will government agencies really improve healthcare, and make healthcare distribution more efficient, more equitable, more just? And is it “justice” to make people more dependent upon government agencies?
Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton has already said that America has failed to create economic justice, and the solution is for government to take away wealth from certain groups of people and give away wealth to certain other groups (she has even singled-out churches in this failure - - see my Townhall column of June 11, 2007). Is that just? Is that moral? Is that a real solution to our problems?
Healthcare is but one issue, and economics is but one category of issues, that we all will face in the next election. Yet economics, as a broad category, underlies just about everything that matters. To learn more on the moral dimensions of economics, get acquainted with the Acton Institute of Grand Rapids, MI (www.acton.org). And to learn how America has tried, and failed, and succeeded with different economic policies, get Michael Barone’s book “Hard America - Soft America” and start reading now.
And stay tuned - - we have more issues to address.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.