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Richard Bradshaw

Richard Bradshaw's Public Library

  • Over the last half-century, even as the Left has conquered one institution after another—the university, the media, the federal bureaucracy—this disposition to revolt has remained the chief feature of the progressive mind.

    It is why the people running our civilization have never developed the virtues necessary to carry out their duties adequately. Determined to always think of themselves as persons out of power, they never learned to regard themselves as persons with power, and all the responsibilities power entails. They never learned to imagine the kinds of moral formation that would fit a person for rule, rather than for protest.

    This is why we can listen to a close advisor to the president—a woman with access to the most effective levers of power in the world—declare her intention to “speak truth to power.” But as for speaking truth as power, as for directing their policies with the wisdom and prudence requisite to their offices, the populist elite in control of the Western world have never learned how to do this, because their own modes of juvenile self-fashioning have precluded them from ever admitting that they do indeed occupy such offices.

  • We find ourselves saddled with a teetering institutional structure without considering the decades of populist agitation that went into making this wreckage.
  • the politics of resentment

  • With this burden resting on us all, it is no wonder that a religious people—as most Americans have always been—should give thanks to the God who made us, who gave us the burden of self-government, and who alone can lighten it for us and make us capable of bearing it. And so, from our earliest history, we see that the faith of Americans has been welcomed in the public square, and that acknowledgment of our dependence on the Almighty, and of our trust in divine Providence, has been part of the public life of the nation.
  • Only religion can remind us that the temporal ultimately answers to the eternal.
  • The truth about religious freedom begins with men and women as imago Dei, the image of God. But what if man were just another piece of matter in motion, a bundle of passions and impulses? What if men and women were wills with no duties to any truth beyond themselves, making claims on their fellows for the protection and sheltering of their willful choices? Then religious claims would deserve no special or unique place, protected in law and sheltered from politics. All claims about human choices would be on an equal plane, to be honored or neglected according to how important or indifferent or harmless they seemed to others, or more precisely, to those others in a position of power to decide.

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  • When Roosevelt proposed Social Security in 1935, he envisioned a contributory pension plan. Workers’ payroll taxes (“contributions”) would be saved and used to pay their retirement benefits. Initially, before workers had time to pay into the system, there would be temporary subsidies. But Roosevelt rejected Social Security as a “pay-as-you-go” system that channeled the taxes of today’s workers to pay today’s retirees. That, he believed, would saddle future generations with huge debts — or higher taxes — as the number of retirees expanded.
  • Millions of Americans believe (falsely) that their payroll taxes have been segregated to pay for their benefits and that, therefore, they “earned” these benefits. To reduce them would be to take something that is rightfully theirs.
  • With favorable demographics, contradictions were bearable. Early Social Security beneficiaries received huge windfalls. A one-earner couple with average wages retiring at 65 in 1960 received lifetime benefits equal to nearly 14 times their payroll taxes, even if those taxes had been saved and invested (which they weren’t), calculate Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane of the Urban Institute.

    But now, demographics are unfriendly. In 1960, there were five workers per recipient; today, there are three, and by 2025 the ratio will approach two. Roosevelt’s fear has materialized. Paying all benefits requires higher taxes, cuts in other programs or large deficits. Indeed, the burden has increased, because it now includes Medicare, which is also viewed as an entitlement.

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Jul 08, 16

Equality of opportunity vs. equality of condition. Don't you have to have equality of condition to have equality of opportunity?

  • You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.

      

    You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

  • Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.

    • Simulated Legislative Hearings
       
        
        

      Format:

       
         
      • Congress has formed a congressional committee to examine the U.S. Constitution and the purposes of government.
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      • The students will prepare and testify before the simulated congressional committee as expert witnesses on the Constitution.
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       Preparation 
         
      • Form teams: 3-6 students for each of the units.
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      • Each team works collaboratively to prepare answers to all the questions for the unit.
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      • Students review materials in the We the People textbook and research other material prepare 4-minute written responses to the questions for each unit and get ready to answer follow-up questions
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      • The teacher selects 3 people (other teachers, administrators, or members from the community) to serve as “legislators” or judges for each unit
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        Hearing (10 minutes per question) 
         
      • Teams of students orally respond to questions (notes can be used) for 4 minutes.
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      • members ask students follow-up questions and students respond (no notes allowed) for 6 minutes.
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      • Panel members assess the prepared oral presentation and the responses to the follow-up questions using the rubrics 
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