Tag Archives: poverty

Three Arguments for Open Borders: Part III – Impartial Rights

What if you didn’t get to choose your parents? Well, I guess you didn’t. But, who you are born to will greatly dictate your life. Such luck seems incredibly unjust.


We have already explored two other arguments for open borders (the greatest good for the greatest number and libertarianism). We are now at our final argument – the argument from impartial rights. I ask for your patience; this one is a bit complex, but I believe it to be by far the most important, powerful, and profound.

John Rawls thought we should think of society as a group of people who want to cooperate for mutual advantage. To ask what justice requires is to ask what sort of hypothetical contract would free and equal persons agree to as the terms of cooperation. This is our tool for figuring out what justice demands.

But contracts are apt to be unfair in favoring one of the parties because of either ignorance or a superior bargaining position. That is why, when asking what contract we would agree to, we should imagine ourselves behind the “veil of ignorance.”

Behind this veil, we do not know who we will be in the hypothetical society – so we don’t know our race, wealth, health, intelligence, religion, gender, age, etc. We could be anyone in the society we create.

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The Hidden War on Public Education

We must not turn our backs on public education – it must not become a for-profit business.

Marco Rubio

In a recent opinion piece, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) championed a Florida program that provides tax dollars for low-income children to go to private schools. Such programs, in which the government gives people a “voucher” that they can use to pay tuition at a private school, have become a popular talking point, especially among libertarians.

However, such voucher programs are fundamentally flawed in that they miss the point of the problem. Supporters argue that children in low-income neighborhoods are forced into schools that cannot offer them a good education. This is assuredly true. Their solution is that we must get our kids out of these schools, and into the capable hands of private institutions. This, though, is the wrong conclusion.

Imagine that one of the walls of your house has fallen in. Your house is really no longer doing its full job as a house. Sure, it keeps the rain off of your head, but it lets in bugs and wind, and a big hole is of little deterrence to would-be burglars. So, what should you do about your broken house? Fix the wall, obviously. What you do not do is buy a new house.

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Minimum Wage: Hope for the Poor

After President Obama’s latest State of the Union address, the media lit up. The most controversial thing he said? Not gun control, we have heard that all before. Not the war. What could have been so controversial that it out shined some of the hottest topics in the media today? Minimum Wage.

Why is this so controversial? Why wouldn’t we want to give everyone who makes $7.25 an hour a pay raise to $9.00? The GOP is calling it crazy, but in reality it’s not crazy at all. In fact, it makes complete sense from both a moral and a prudential standpoint.

When we think of poverty, we think of unemployed families. We envision those who have not been able to find work, or have not looked for work; however, if we look at our countries impoverished, they largely consist of working families. A single parent working full time that is earning minimum wage takes home $15,080 a year. That’s $3,400 below the federal poverty line for a family of three1. What’s even more scary is that as we are allowing the market to drive up prices on things like food and health care, it’s also driving up the prices of housing because we have not adjusted wages to levels of inflation we are seeing around the nation. In turn, families are now being forced to spend nearly 60% of their monthly income on housing alone.

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Blessed are the Poor

The Bible is a very troublesome voter’s guide.  It would seem to place the voter in an awkward position that is not defended by either major party, let alone any candidate: Social conservatism and fiscal liberalism.

The Republicans are often considered the party of Christian values; this is far from obvious though because while the Republicans seem to stand by the social values of the Bible, they don’t do quite as well on the fiscal values the Bible promotes.  Any Christian whose politics are informed by the Bible must of course decide which set of beliefs is more important when casting their vote.

One obvious way for the Christian voter to decide which values are more important is to ask, which are more important in the Bible itself?  Of course only God could answer this question with certainty, so we will instead ask a question that we can answer: what issues are most prominent in the Bible?

Let’s begin with the two controversial social issues that seem to draw the most attention from contemporary, political minded Christians — abortion and homosexuality.  If one chooses to vote Republican based on Christian values, these are generally seen as the two issues that dictate that vote.  But how important are these two issues in the Bible?

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