On Fri., September 19, Enactus, a student group at Hillsdale College organized a genuine debate featuring clearly different world views about dealing with poverty. National Review has called Hillsdale College a "citadel of American conservatism", so Enactus had to search a bit for a representative of the left.  They found Adam Adrianson, State Chair of the SP of Michigan, who arranged  to find them a speaker for the point of view little considered at Hillsdale.  Rea Hederman, VP of the Buckeye Institute,
formerly with the Heritage Foundation presented the conventional free-market approach to dealing with poverty.  He was opposed by our own Vice-Chair, John Strinka, who presented a Socialist view on the subject.

To begin, Strinka began by observing that the "poor" are not a special class that present a policy "problem", but instead are any of us under constrained circumstances.  With that as a foundation, he explained that Socialists empower all people through direct democratic control of the means of production, and indeed, all major institutions of society.  This came as a surprise to many of the students who were expecting a defense of bureaucratic, statist solutions.

About 100 undergrads turned up to listen to the debate on a bright, sunny, beautiful end of summer afternoon, which was remarkable in itself.  They were rewarded by a thoughtful discussion of very different worldviews and their policy implications, with none of the simplistic reduction and talking over each other that pass for policy discussion on mainstream media.



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