The Necessary Inadequacy of Charity

A common libertarian and conservative response to questions about how beneficiaries of government programs will carry on after the removal of their subsidies is that charity should take care of them. This answer is often overly glib, even when combined with the observation that a lower burden of taxation might foster more giving (charity is … Continue reading The Necessary Inadequacy of Charity

A Health Insurance Mandate Libertarians Can Support

Libertarians have generally opposed government mandates to participate in commerce on moral, economic, and constitutional grounds. Certainly, a federal government mandate to buy private health insurance contradicts standard libertarian understandings of the right to property and self-determination and the ability of individuals to decide for themselves their need for insurance (and concomitant skepticism of paternalist … Continue reading A Health Insurance Mandate Libertarians Can Support

LeBar on Children and Happiness

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Mark LeBar, who will soon be joining the Pileus team on a more regular basis.]   Will Wilkinson recently blogged on the “happiness” research that claims to have shown, first, that parenting produces significantly less happy adults than do childless marriages (“kids are a drag”!) and, second, … Continue reading LeBar on Children and Happiness

Dignity and Preciousness

I gave a talk to the Yeshiva College Philosophy Club recently in which I made the following claim: In my view, what gives people dignity, what is admirable and noble in them, is precisely their capacity for moral agency. It is when they have the liberty to make free choices but are required to take … Continue reading Dignity and Preciousness

What Do Parents Owe Their Children?

Most of us rightly think that children are unlike adults in two ways. First, children have a right to positive provision that adults may not enjoy. Second, parents (and perhaps the state) enjoy the right and indeed obligation to treat their children paternalistically in order to guide their development to full rationality. So how do we justify a moral distinction between children and adults?

Parenting and Governing

What kind of adults do we want our children to become? Responsible parents ask themselves this question, and their answers provide principles that guide their parenting.  The federal government, however, is making it very difficult to be a good parent, because it systematically undermines so many of the lessons one wants to teach.  I want … Continue reading Parenting and Governing