The contemporary American understanding of the welfare state and “entitlement rights” has more in common with the notions of rights and alienation of rights promulgated by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man than with the Declaration of Independence. Initially developed in the Progressive Era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the concept of the welfare state can be traced back to Rousseau’s version of the social contract.

Elaborated quite candidly by President Franklin Roosevelt in some of his major addresses, this understanding claims that the people give government power and that government gives the people rights in exchange. The entitlement theory is entirely a positive-law theory of rights: Rights are created by the government. As the gift of the government to society at large, they are not natural rights. Progressives and liberals in the 20th century abandoned the language of natural rights not because they…

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About KellyAnn Hicks-Digby

My hubster & I have been married for almost 35 yrs (seems like yesterday). We are empty-nesters with 2 handsome sons & 2 beautiful daughters-in-law. We also have a large adopted family that are very special to us! I am a not-so-perfect Christian-in-the-making, a wife, a mother, professional Chef, writer & paralegal. I went to college at 50 and graduated with my Bachelors degree 4 years later. We moved to S.C. 7 years ago and love our new home and the Southern culture and our friends and family. I love chocolate, cheesecake and putting a smile on folks & family's faces by creating special meals and sweet treats for them. My passion is to find the best darn chocolate and eat it all! Life cannot & should not exist without great chocolate! Life is short eat dessert first! Till next time ya'll!
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