Politically and culturally, the American public frequently appears to be caught on the horns of a moral dilemma that divides us roughly and often raucously into two opposing factions.
One faction insists that government, as an agent of the people, should assume some significant responsibility for assuring the survival of the weakest and most vulnerable among us.
The other faction insists that a free market, and private initiative, when released from government control, will generate the wealth and opportunity to lift everyone to basic security, if not prosperity.
Salvation through government, some argue, leads to enslavement by government.
Relying on the free market, others argue, is akin to dumping vulnerable people naked into wild nature, left to the mercy of the fang and the claw.