March 2012 PPEC: Does Government Regulation Crowd Out Personal Responsibility?
PPEC Meeting, March 6, 2012Austrian Scholars Conference 2012 at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, AL. The three co-authors will be on hand to present and discuss their findings, but the main presenter will be Fr. Theron Walker of Emmaus Anglican Church in Castle Rock.
Many people believe the reason there are so many government anti-poverty programs is because the private market has failed to provide enough of them. A related argument is that there is so much government regulation because the private market has failed to regulate itself. What if the causality is the other way around? What if there is insufficient private initiative in these areas because there are so many government regulations and programs? This paper investigates the question, “Does government regulation crowd out private responsibility?” We analyze the question from the perspective of economics, philosophy, and theology.
Austrian economic theory is used to examine what happens to private incentives to “do the right thing”, when government commandeers that function unto itself. This paper also reviews what the great philosophers have to say about private vs. public charity and other responsibilities. Finally, we examine what happens to the private responsibility of love for neighbor when government is the preferred vehicle of “social justice”. We review what the Scriptures and Biblical tradition say about respecting the dignity of every human being, and examine the historical record of actual human behavior under conditions of private responsibility vs. government control.
Compete details of the event can be found on the PPEC website.