In his inaugural address on January 20, 1993, President Clinton stated "But for fate, we, the fortunate and the unfortunate, might have been
each other." He may have been commenting primarily upon the
fortuitous consequences of our efforts, but the statement also reflects an
understanding of the fate involved in our ability to make those efforts.
One of the consequences of adopting the determinist view is that it
helps to eliminate the "them versus us" attitude which is far too
prevalent in discussions of public assistance.
I hope that readers will, at this point, see the merits of the determinist
argument. It just makes sense. It is one of those views which many don't
want to believe because it does not coincide with the way in which we
wish to view ourselves (and perhaps others). Nonetheless, there are
always some things we want to believe and others we should believe. 60
In Chapter1 I developed a concept of justice which incorporated the
determinist view. This notion of justice will form the basis for a proposal
for a major change in our economic structure. A major basis for my
proposal is a desire to see that every American has the opportunity to feel
good about him or herself because she or he has an income provided,
without discrimination, solely as a recognition of his or her worth as a
This is true with respect to current federal programs; after the 1996 welfare
reform legislation, states may change this. However, it is quite unlikely that the
state rules will be less restrictive in this respect.
This includes not only our attitudes toward economic justice but also our
attitudes toward criminal justice.
"Proof" is at any rate an elusive concept. Nothing can be proven unless
the "provee" accepts the criteria for proof as laid out by the "prover."
It may be that this is a view people accept simply because it makes them
Talk show host Rush Limbaugh, on his September 23, 1993, program
decried the tendency of liberals to excuse people's behavior. He noted that
people who abuse their children were often abused by their parents, but argued
that this should not give them license to do whatever they want to. I agree.
Many readers will recognize in this argument the classic Christian
admonition to "hate the sin; love the sinner." I liked the point made by a caller
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: ...And Economic Justice for All:Welfare Reform for the 21st Century.
Contributors: Michael L. Murray - Author.
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe.
Place of publication: Armonk, NY.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 145.
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