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Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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Peter J. Boyer, Staff writer for The New Yorker since 1992
"Bill Voegeli's insightful and well crafted book explains why Americans are at once dissatisfied with their welfare state yet apparently willing to see it grow without limit, and also why the long running debate between liberals and conservatives over the welfare state has produced ever more confusion about who should benefit and who should pay for government programs. Voegeli, however, manages to frame this argument in a new way and to show how liberals and conservatives can get beyond their fruitless debates in order to place the American welfare state on a more effective and affordable footing. Never Enough is that rare book that makes a new contribution to an old debate and has something important to say to both liberals and conservatives."
James Piereson, President of the William E. Simon Foundation and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute
William Voegeli may be the most valuable, engaging and original critic of liberalism writing today. I have been waiting for him to write this book for years. No serious student of contemporary political life will regret their investment in this profound yet eminently accessible work. Never Enough answers questions most people struggle even to articulate.”
Jonah Goldberg, Author of Liberal Fascism
Never Enough is a nonpolemical critique of progressive, conservative, and libertarian visions of the welfare state: always more,’ always less,’ and none at all.’ Contending that all three are untenable, William Voegeli offers a highly informative and lucid account of the political and ideological struggles that led to and perpetuate our current unsustainable welfare policies. Beware: whether or not you buy his Pax Voegeli’ compromise, this book will compel you to clarify and wrestle with your own vision of the welfare state.”
Randy E. Barnett, Author of Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty
’Every problem deserves a program’: this is a driving liberal impulse that has exponentially increased the size and scope of government, giving rise to the never-enough, prosperity stifling state. In this new book, which channels the realistic spirit of Irving Kristol, William Voegeli argues that the welfare state isn't going to wither away but we can make it leaner, more effective, and less kleptocratic. An essential work in the development of a twenty-first century conservatism.
Brian C. Anderson, Editor, City Journal; author of South Park Conservatives
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Top Customer Reviews
I didn't read it that way myself, but I make this suggestion to others because Chapters One and Two **are** pretty dry, being a LARGE assemblage of data and commentary on the data. And I fear readers might bog down here, get discouraged, and not read into the "payoff" chapters, i.e. the rest of the book. (Those first two chapters absolutely belong in the book, but reading them was somewhat of a slog, at least for me.)
I do have one more-substantive remark to make: Voegeli is a fellow of the Claremont Institute, as is Charles Kesler, who also edits the Claremont Review. Kesler recently had a fairly long article, "The Stakes of Obamacare," in the Review ([...]). There is some good overlap in thinking between the two authors, so you might first read Kesler's article, freely available online, to see if it interests you, then buy Voegeli's book if the answer is "yes." In particular, Kesler's penultimate paragraph has a similar flavor to Voegeli's closing chapter:
"Obamacare inclines America in the long run to some combination of the following: the sullen acceptance of government-distributed scarcity, envy of people who have more than their fair share of health care, and growing alienation from a system that tries to play God but does so without wisdom, justice, or mercy. These toxic sentiments will be familiar to anyone who has lived under socialism, for they are its concomitants. When added to the caustic effects of dependency on government, they amount to a prescription for an American character increasingly unfit for self-government."
If you care about what Americans ask government, at every level, to do for us; what we should ask and what we have historically asked government to do for us; how much we pay for what we ask for; how much we ought to be willing to pay for it; who pays what and who gets what--if you care about how the next generation is going to afford to repay the debts of this generation--you will want to read this book.
And you will be reminded that it is possible to write about such complicated and grave matters not just with wisdom, but with grace.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
William Voegeli is an eloquent and insightful writer and I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the political and cultural life and future of America. Read morePublished 7 months ago by john dunn
Cogently and precisely explains why the working class hasn't received much benefit from the astonishing increases in productivity in the past three decades. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Richmond Barbie Girl
Pretty much a conservative rant that proposes no answers to anything. A complete waste of my time. I would ask for my money back, but I didn't pay for this.Published 12 months ago by Akahdrin Fireal
Good book, I recommend you read, came in good condition and on time. Thank YouPublished 16 months ago by Freddy G. Castaneda
Whether you love or hate the welfare state, whether you consider yourself a conservative libertarian or a liberal, you need to read this book! Read morePublished 16 months ago by HayekGhostWriter