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Are Free Markets Pro-Family?


Dr. Samuel Gregg discusses the viability of government-funded family security plans and whether free markets are pro-family.


On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Dr. Samuel Gregg, research director at the Acton Institute, joins Federalist Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss the viability of government-funded family security plans, such as the one proposed by Mitt Romney, and whether free markets are pro-family.

“Social conservatives are looking for economic solutions to many problems which are social and cultural in nature. Now, I’m not denying that the economy has significant implications for social life — of course it does — but there’s, I think, the problem when you start using these types of programs to try and engineer specific social outcomes,” Gregg said. “And let’s remember we’ve been here before. This was tried in the New Deal. This was tried in the Great Society … and I think it’s very debatable whether those programs achieve their goals. And I think it’s very provable that they ended up doing exactly the opposite of what they were intended to do.”

While it may be tempting to ask for government involvement, such as paying American families, Gregg warned that bureaucracies can become difficult and self-serving, eliminating the purpose they were supposed to serve in the first place.

“Bureaucracies that are pursuing their self-interest are very difficult to stop and they have a tendency to grow, and it’s very, very difficult to get rid of them, and that’s something I think social conservatives should be concerned about,” Gregg said.

Read more about Dr. Gregg’s perspective on the conservative movement’s split over Romney’s family plan here.