Work Requirements Can’t Solve Poverty

Work requirements can’t solve poverty because 97 percent of the poor are either children, retired, disabled, students, caregivers, or already working. Public opinion research consistently shows high levels of support for aiding the poor, matched with equally high levels of concern that aid only be given to those who deserve it. This concern to distinguish […]

Freedom of Speech is not Freedom from Criticism (A note on political correctness)

Political correctness has been a major source of anger throughout the Republican primary, fueling Donald Trump (and more briefly, Ben Carson). It has even reached the point where conservatives have argued that political correctness is limiting their freedom of speech. So, I thought I should clarify: You have the right to say things that are […]

The flawed logic of conservative opposition to regulations: the case of jury duty

Conservatives often start from the premise that individual freedoms ought to be maximized. Since regulations limit freedoms, regulations therefore ought to be minimized. But the concept of freedom is nowhere near as straightforward as it initially appears. In deference to the general conservative love of the Constitution, the complicated nature of individual freedom can be […]


Why the narrative of personal responsibility slips so easily into racism

When it comes to explaining poverty and inequality in the U.S., there tend to be two broad categories of explanations. The first is personal responsibility. On this narrative, poverty and inequality are caused by personal failings. The second focuses on institutional factors, arguing that poverty is a result of the choices we’ve made about the […]