chapter  1
The U.S. Polity and the Welfare State
ByMachan Tibor
Pages 22

Conservatives and neoconservative’s often seem to suppose that the United States (US) government was meant to be a crafter of souls as well as a provider of an economic safety net. Democratic socialists, in turn, would aver that the framers put the first touches to an economic welfare state, a government that ought to coordinate the production of diverse prosperity. This chapter analyses why the idea of a restricted, limited public scope is more consonant with the unique US political tradition than is the idea of the welfare state, with its bloated public sector. There is good reason to think that the US Constitution supports a stringent adherence to the principle of private property rights. There are indeed reasons why we should view the US Constitution as a protector of a free-market system of economics, that is, of the economic liberty of persons, rather than a welfare state.