By Duane Paul Murphy
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for Students at Catholic University hosted a Spring Leadership dinner on Wednesday night in the McGivney Atrium. A Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute spoke about how free enterprise and reformed national policies as well as national programs can reduce poverty and provide economic opportunities to susceptible Americans.
About 20 students attended the dinner, including members from College Republicans, AEI for Students at CUA, and College Democrats.
Robert Doar, the speaker of the event who was also a city commissioner in New York City under the mayor ship of Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, presented his background in public policy and government administration by starting out as a social services commissioner under the governorship of George Pataki. Throughout his work with these three political figures, he brought forth policies that had bi-partisan support to reform social services for people in need, including laws where if people are receiving welfare, they must be able to find a job to further sustain themselves or their own families.
“It’s very good to take a job when the people before you were terrible,” Doar said in regards to the previous governor’s administration handled issues of social services.
Throughout the rest of his talk, Doar discussed how to ensure that free enterprise and economic incentives can alleviate dependency on public social services. He also discussed how education and the strength of the nuclear family are necessary for there to be rising incomes and economic prosperity.
During the question-and-answer session of the event, a variety of issues from hunger to jobs were covered. In regards to the hunger crisis, Doar expressed how other factors such as the availability of jobs, stable incomes, and decent education can decrease hunger along with increasing the inventory or distribution of food to non-profit organizations and public services. As the subject of jobs was brought up, Doar stated that an increased focus in apprenticeships, community colleges, and trade schools is needed to protect manufacturing industries.
At the end of the event, many of the guests gained new perspectives on the major issues.
The guests seemed to be content or satisfied with the overall event.
“While I didn’t agree politically with many of the opinions stated by the speaker tonight, he spoke of many interesting points on bipartisan issues,” said Katie Hodgdon, a freshman politics major and College Democrats member. “I enjoyed listening to his personal anecdotes.”
“It was interesting to hear from a Republican on welfare and how we can improve the welfare system” said Liz Frieden, a freshman politics major and College Republicans member. “Most of what we hear from the right is not focused on how we can help people through welfare but how we can lessen our spending on welfare. It was nice to hear there is a way to help more families while still keeping the deficit in mind. He took time to answer all of our questions thoroughly.”