Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" for March 14, 2012

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 14

4:00 – The Liberty Intrigue
Ross Egan has quietly labored for years in the West African nation of Dutannuru—a tiny republican democracy that emerged from the wreckage of the brutal civil war that claimed the brilliant engineer’s wife and child. When a neighboring despot threatens Dutannuru with renewed violence, Egan is abruptly thrust onto the world stage at the center of the deadly international crisis. Egan’s actions and resulting notoriety land him on the short list of individuals capable of challenging the progressive incumbent for the presidency of the United States—if only he can be convinced to run. A political neophyte, Egan is intrigued by the challenge of unseating a ruthless political operator seen by some as the most dangerously leftist president in the nation’s history. To win the White House, Egan must mount the most unorthodox presidential campaign ever attempted — and navigate through a daunting new world marked by character assassination, high-level corruption, armed raids, and political murder. It’s the latest novel by Tom Grace, perfectly timed for this election cycle.

5:00 – Seeking the Kingdom: Challenging the Culture By Living Our Faith
In his new book, “Seek First the Kingdom,” Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl calls on Catholics to seek God’s kingdom and then reflect it in their everyday lives. We talk to the Cardinal about the HHS Mandate, Catholic voting and confronting the culture.

5:20 – The Spanish Match: A Novel of Catholic Spain
In a world convulsed by economic crisis, religious fanaticism, and threats to the very survival of Western civilization, the question of war and peace hinges on a young man’s audacious marriage proposal to the daughter of his family’s bitterest enemy. In his account of the ill-fated “Spanish Match” of 1623, Brennan Pursell shows that history can turn on the faith and courage of individual men and women. He joins us

1 comment:

  1. Re: The Tom Grace Interview

    Sometimes conservatives say dumb things. Tom Grace said something dumb during this part of the interview:

    Kresta: "The assumption is somehow that the moral high ground is on the side of those who are going to provide everything people want. But a government that provides anything you want is also a government that can take anything you have."

    Grace: "And will."

    Kresta: "And will. Yeah. To me that's one of the big undigested insights in our own situation here. Is that dealt with in the book?"

    Grace: "It is. It gets to the whole point that there is no free lunch. You can't have the government giving you everything without it taking it from somewhere else. The government produces nothing. Everything they have they have taken from somewhere. And if they're going to give you everything, then they have to take everything from somewhere."

    The dumb thing Tom said was: "The government produces nothing. Everything they have they have taken from somewhere."

    This isn't the first time I've heard someone say that government produces nothing. I've heard conservatives pronounce this aphorism many times on talk radio, uttered with a tone of certainty and smugness in the belief that they have just imparted great wisdom to the ignorant masses.

    In some cases it's true that government is not productive; welfare, for instance. If government takes resources from one person so that another person can live a nonproductive life, then yes, the government has produced nothing. Worse, the government has done damage to the economy because both parties no longer have as much incentive to work.

    But to say that government produces nothing is dumb. A good math teacher provides a service (producing able students) regardless of whether that teacher works at a government school or a private school. We may object that the government has taken our money by force and given it to a public school math teacher, but that doesn't mean the public school math teacher is unproductive. The same is true for government roads and bridges.

    We Americans have decided to purchase some things collectively and have government produce them -- things like roads, bridges, and education. Tom Grace is right that the money we collectively fork over to the government to produce those things is no longer available to buy other things we might want -- a bigger house, a better car, more Tootsie Rolls. But that doesn't mean the money we have given to government has not been put to productive use.

    Again, welfare is different. I do see welfare as nonproductive and damaging, although it may be necessary at times.