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January 20, 2006


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Rob Johnston

Maybe you are right that Husock is addressing the "deserving poor." I posted about his study as a Confusion of Ends and Means when it comes to helping people and creating social change.


I read and enjoyed your post. I agree with you that earned revenue and good management should not necessarily be associated with any particular political slant. Wouldn't Husock himself agree? I got the impression that he had good things to say about the business approach to social ventures and was groping to find an "opponent" in the old Filer report. But, still, he did not address the plight of those least able to produce or consume. Once ventures have done all they can, there will be a residue of the aged, infirm, and broken for whom family, charity or transfer payments are about the only answer.

Rob Johnston

Given how much territory Husock covered, examples shown, and names called, I don't think his message was very clear. I certainly hope he'd agree with you that there has to be a place to turn, a source of comfort for those unable to pull themselves up. You raise the more interesting point -- that the best we will obtain is some balance between the finely structured "philanthropy" where we enable people to find their way and improve their own lot, and the essential "charity" where we provide food and shelter (and medical care) for those otherwise unable to participate.

I thought Husock was only looking for a way to poke the Left and what he sees as its retreat from techniques used 30 years ago.


Yes, still, the essay does make a case for common pragmatic ground. He looks hard to find an adversary. At least he didn't take John Rawls's Theory of Justice to task, or the Gospels.

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