The Conservative Welfare State

“Let me lay down the basic principles – the basic deficiency, some will say – of my approach. I shall, to begin with, assume that the welfare state is with us, for better or worse, and that conservatives should try to make it better rather than worse. And I shall pay no attention to the economics of the welfare state, which I regard as a secondary issue. What conservatives ought to seek, first of all, is a welfare state consistent with the basic moral principles of our nation. The essential purpose of politics, after all, is to transmit to our children a civilization and a nation that they can be proud of. This means we should figure out what we want before we calculate what we can afford, not the reverse, which is the normal conservative predisposition.”

–Irving Kristol, Wall Street Journal – June 14th, 1993


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