Jeffrey's Reviews > The Samaritan's Dilemma: Should Government Help Your Neighbor?

The Samaritan's Dilemma by Deborah Stone
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's review
Aug 14, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: current-events, economics

The Samaritan’s Dilemma is a problem that people face when trying to help the poor. In many cases, the effort to help the poor can give them incentives to continue in behavior that keeps them in poverty. Our past welfare that allocated more money for single-family homes ensured that poor children would be denied a live in father so that the mother could gain more benefits. This is not in dispute with anyone serious – except Deborah Stone, author of the new book entitled, The Samaritan’s Dilemma. Stone tries to reshape the argument by simply ignoring the past performance of government welfare programs.

Early in her book, Stone lays the groundwork for her uphill and mendacious battle. She starts by mocking Reagan’s call for an end to confiscatory and inefficient government actions. She mocks and belittles Nobel winning Economists like Milton Friedman who shoe empirically that government should not be the welfare provider for the people. She wants to recall the glory days of the “New Deal” and “The Great Society” without a serious look at the vast harm those programs did to the people that worked to fund them. Nor does she seem to understand that the trillion dollars confiscated from workers to fund poverty programs did little to elevate poverty or the conditions that lead to poverty.

No, in Stone’s world the Government is the solution and we workers are the cogs that keep the government going for the benefit of the poor. In a messed up world the poor are therefore more valued than those that seek to better their lives through education and hard work. Her failure to see any government failure proves that some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals will believe them. Read this nonsense for yourself.
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message 1: by Alixandria (new)

Alixandria Pace I am forced to read Policy Paradox for a political science course and it is absolutely painful. Thank you for this review that covers more of the details that most seem to not do their research on.

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