Author Archives: William C. Duncan

Personal responsibility in public policy

Personal responsibility is a core feature of sound public policy. Policies that try to relieve individuals of personal responsibility are unjust and unwise. Policies that recognize and encourage responsibility are far-sighted and effectual. This point is typically and appropriately made … Continue reading

Posted in Self-reliance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What’s the best way to tackle bullying?

The Deseret News recently relayed a wonderful story about a young man and his football teammates who befriended a girl who had been bullied by others. Their efforts made a real difference in her life and the way she was … Continue reading

Posted in Community | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The intrinsic good of marriage

One of the events in the John Adams Center’s recent Goods of Family conference (a really important event put on by the Center’s director, Ralph Hancock) was a superb lecture by Russell Hittinger of the University of Tulsa. Dr. Hittinger … Continue reading

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Weighing decisions of character against feelings of discomfort

In our continued debates over moral issues, it is not uncommon for politicians, opinion leaders and others to announce that, after agonizing over the issue, they have decided to change positions or announce positions in favor of things like abortion … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Family | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Freedom to close businesses on Sunday is worth preserving

Living in a community bordering Highland, we see lots of signs for and against local Proposition 6, which would do away with the city’s Sunday closing. The anti-Proposition 6 campaign is in the right. People don’t need to shop on … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Free market | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Spending our children’s inheritance

One of the gems in Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France is his description of the tradition threatened by the social engineering of the French Revolution as an “entailed inheritance derived to us from our forefathers, and to … Continue reading

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Poverty’s elephant in the room

One core advantage of religious and other private charity over government welfare is that it is more likely to address the elephant in the room in discussions of poverty: marriage and family structure. The Department of Workforce Services report on … Continue reading

Posted in Poverty | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Intergenerational poverty, taxation and the Scrooge response

Earlier this week I spoke at an important conference on intergenerational poverty in Salt Lake City. Karen Crompton of Voices for Utah Children and State Senator Stuart Reid organized the conference and invited my participation as a follow-up to Senator … Continue reading

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Polyamory and willful blindness?

Imagine a scenario where a small child is allowed to play with loaded weapons without meaningful oversight from the parents. Then imagine the parents excuse their behavior by saying that the child had not yet been shot or shot anyone … Continue reading

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Same-sex marriage inevitable? Not so fast

At a Sutherland Institute event in April 2011, Maggie Gallagher noted that victory in a war comes when one side believes it is no longer worth fighting. Thus, one of the most important arguments made by those who want to … Continue reading

Posted in Gay Rights, Marriage | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Defending traditional marriage at UVU ethics week

Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics very kindly invited me to give a speech on “The Meaning of Traditional Marriage” on Sept. 18 as part of an Ethics Awareness Week In the speech I tried to explain what … Continue reading

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Academic witch hunt ends in acquittal

A Child Trends report in 2002 concluded: “First, research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.” There is … Continue reading

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Government welfare and moral excellence

The great demographer Nicholas Eberstadt recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal about the dramatic explosion in the receipt of government welfare. His concluding paragraphs: The prospect of careening along an unsustainable economic road is deeply disturbing. But another possibility … Continue reading

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Utah’s Reid shows leadership on intergenerational poverty

Utah State Senator Stuart Reid is providing important leadership on a crucial issue — intergenerational poverty. The 1990s saw a major effort to reform public welfare through work requirements for welfare recipients. This effort had merit, but Senator Reid is … Continue reading

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Alimony, audits and adoption: family issues heard during Utah interim meetings

During last week’s interim day meetings, the legislature heard three family issues. The Judiciary Interim Committee listened to testimony about reforming alimony (brought to the Committee by Representative Fred Cox, R-West Valley City) which has been a Sutherland Institute priority. … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Legislature, Parental Rights | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments