Never Enough - William Voegeli on America's Limitless Welfare State

"The denial of the possibility that there is an endpoint [to the welfare state] is crucial to the liberal enterprise," says Dr. William Voegeli, author of the new book, Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State and a visiting scholar at Claremont McKenna College's Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World.

In this interview, Voegeli traces recent federal government expansions to President Franklin Roosevelt's introduction of a "second Bill of Rights" that included the right to housing, education, and medical care.

Approximately 8.30.

Interview by Sam Corcos; shot by Hawk Jensen; edited by Paul Detrick.

Go to for HD, iPod, and audio versions of this and all our videos and subscribe to' s YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • A is Awesome||

    I especially like FDR's 2nd Bill of Rights: Right to a Job. Hire this man or go to jail.

    Also, this video needs more mosques.


    When I die I want to come back as a pigeon, and visit the FDR statue every day. Actually, several times a day.

  • ||

    For all those people who have never actually seen 'a deer in the headlights', ask a liberal what the exit strategy for war on poverty programs is. You see the same expression.

  • Liberal||

    Easy! Higher taxes!

  • It's always 4:20!||

    "Once the government becomes the supplier of people's needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right."

    —Lawrence Auster

  • ||

    I wondered what Pauly Krugnuts' term "austerian" came from.

  • ||

    Stupid joke tag.

  • Pauly||

    They should limit welfare, then they should get a Roth IRA Calculator

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Austerian" is the new "teabagger".

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    "To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.'" - Thomas Jefferson

  • Chad||

    What a nice quote....from a man who inherited 5000 acres and a dozen slaves.

    Sounds like he is just trying to justify his advantage over poor white trash to me.

  • ||

    No chad - it was simply a note on how government grows. Jefferson was a bit of a snob, but he also believed that a man is measured by his merit, and that some worked harder then others to get more. Yes he inherited land - that was his fathers who gave him to it voluntarily. He also mismanaged it and buried himself in debt - obviously the to big to fail thing was NOT in his playbook. Even though he did die broke, he never once asked the government to bail out his bad decisions - so the point loses nothing in its credibility.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck you, Chad. Slavery is long-dead. Get over it already.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Race card AND wealth envy all in one response, Chad... forgot to give you props for that. But you still suck.

  • Ted Kennedy's Ghost||

    I inherited a lot of shit. We ALL did. Papa Joe took care of our needs.

  • ||

    As long as the only requirement to vote is age, you will have a collectivist state.

  • -||

    Can retards vote? Or does it just seem that way?

  • ||

    I present exhibit 1 our current President.

  • Chad||

    I vote!

  • ||

    Exhibit 2.

  • Max||

    I vote because only Democrats should hold office.

  • Michelle Obama||

    Weight should also be a requirement.

  • Meme (The Cunt) Roth||

    What a great idea!

    I haven't eaten in a week.

  • scarf||

    his video needs more mosques.

  • bags||

    there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right."

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I said it before and I will keep saying until it becomes a meme, but eventually these fucks will count sex with attractive people as a basic right. Then it will be sex with celebrities. What's the problem? They are practically prostitutes anyway?

    And remember kids, don't kill strippers, because they are already dead inside.

  • fendibags||

    So such results were just ignored. In spite of the local media's spin that suggests it was just one or two ignorant or misinformed lab technicians, the investigation proves that this was institutionalized criminal negligence, at best.

  • ||

    The other day, I got to thinking. You know how the libertarian mantra against the war on drugs (or the war on fat, tobacco, etc.) goes something like, "Trying to stop a large number of people from doing something that they really, really want to do by making it illegal is doomed to failure." (further, some might add: "and is plain immoral.").

    I'm starting to think that libertarians (and any true small gov't advocates) are committing the same kind of error in being so against collectivism. In a sense, we've declared a war on collectivism (we just don't have the numbers to enforce it). However, try as we might to prevent it, people will collectivize and they will entitle themselves to other people's wealth, ...because they really, really want to.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I think morally we have two different "wars" here. If some dumbass wants to do blow off of a hooker's ass in the privacy of his own home, who are we to stop him? Why should we waste valuable time and resources punishing that guy for being human, when plenty of murderers and thugs get away scot free?

    On the other hand, we have a bunch of pretentious busy bodies who believe that if there are enough of them, their mass will hide the firearms they secretly brandish from our eyes. We have no choice but to submit to this murderous thieving creature known as the collective. It's that or death/prison rape (I'd prefer death). I think fighting a "war" against such an entity is far more justifiable than against aforementioned coke-fiend.

  • otter||

    Entitling people to the wealthy's wealth makes the wealthy more wealthy.

    Otherwise most people would be sustenance farmers, and there would be no one to make frivolous products for the wealthy to enjoy, making their wealth worth less.

  • steve||

    Looks like he had a lot of leather-bound books in that study. I'm duly impressed.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    "What limits the limited welfare state? Not only has 'liberalism' meant ever greater economic controls, but now it means the application of socialist ideology to social issues. This has always been a dubious dichotomy -- Is a book a manufactured product or an expressed idea? -- and one that didn't exist among either the classical liberals or the Marxist regimes. Yet a surging number of voices tell us that 'equality' demands, not only a redistribution of wealth, but also ... the rest"

  • Alan||

    Considering that many slave owners knew that slavery is wrong and continued to own slaves until opposed with enough violence to stop them, why should we be surprised that nothing less than a war will prevent the American people from systematically robbing anyone who is productive, even though most of them know it is wrong?

  • mike||

  • burberry scarf||

    our burberry scarf is your best choice,they are nice quality at a good discount,great welcome everyone order from us.

  • armani on sale||

    I am always looking for new gift ideas. On a recent tour of the Armani Store on 5th Avenue, I found so many great items at varying price points. Their

    chocolate boutique, Armani Dolci, is filled with unique ideas and is really well done. I was equally impressed by their home accessories collection. I

    really fell in love with their candles, especially the Eau de Jade scent. They are lovely and beautifully packaged – simple but beautiful.

  • nike shoes UK||

    is good

  • mbt shoes clearances||



Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties