Author Archives: William C. Duncan

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 , , , | 5 Comments

Utah could take a lesson from Chris Christie on surrogacy

On Aug. 8, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did the right thing in vetoing a bill that would have allowed adults to contract with one another so that one would carry a child to term for money and then surrender … Continue reading

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How sound marriage laws enhance liberty

A sincere question often raised in the debate over the definition of marriage is whether it is appropriate for government to be in the marriage business at all. For those of us who believe in the principle of limited government, … Continue reading

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Playing chicken with religious liberty

Hopefully many readers have been to Chick-fil-A recently. After the company’s president expressed his belief that marriage is the union of a husband and wife, four big town mayors have threatened to prevent the company from doing business in their … Continue reading

Posted in Marriage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rethinking unilateral divorce

The Deseret News has recently published an important series of articles (here and here) and an editorial on an issue that gets far less attention than it deserves — the serious consequences of our legal culture of divorce. The basic … Continue reading

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The strings attached to federal welfare programs

When you receive an email “informing” you that you’ve won a lottery you never entered, or that a widow from an exotic nation wants to give you the money from her deceased husband’s estate, do you reply? Some people do, … Continue reading

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How is Utah’s child welfare system doing?

As we have reported, the Utah Legislature is reviewing an audit of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.  The Foundation for Government Accountability has just released a report with state rankings based on 11 different child outcomes. The … Continue reading

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Will California ‘split the child’?

The news is reporting on another troubling development from California, where the state Senate is considering a bill that would specifically allow the government to designate more than two “parents” for a child. Although radical, this idea is not entirely … Continue reading

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