Heres an attempt to portray Michael Gersons version of compassionate conservatism as a kind of European-style Christian Socialism. I briefly discussed the essay at which this commentator took umbrage here.
My own response to this critique is, first, that Gerson was somewhat sloppy in the Newsweek essay and, second, that many of the elements of the "ownership society" amount to government efforts to empower individuals and revive civil society where its moribund. Gersons ultimately not a paternalist or nanny state advocate. Where he might disagree with his critics is over what role, if any, government has in resurrecting individual self-reliance. In this connection, I note that the author of the aforementioned piece mentioned education vouchers. Dont voucher involve government spending, not to mention at least a little government regulation? And havent Gerson, his former boss, and his former boss brother been advocates of vouchers?