Work & HappinessWork & Happiness

The documentary film “Work & Happiness: The Human Cost of Welfare” will be shown, with a panel discussion afterward, on Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at ͺϲʿ¼ in Schaap Auditorium of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

examines the welfare system in the United States, and is a companion to the book “The Human Cost of Welfare: How the System Hurts the People It’s Supposed to Help,” by Lisa Conyers and Phil Harvey.  As posited by Free To Choose Media, which developed the one-hour documentary, “Compassion fueled the creation of America’s welfare system, a safety net that rescues some of the most vulnerable among us. Our current system spent more than $1 trillion in social spending last year, which would be a worthwhile expenditure if it was breaking the cycle of poverty. But is it?”

“Ideally, the safety net should serve as a trampoline, where people hit it and then bounce back onto their feet, and into rich, fulfilling lives,” said Bob Chitester, who is the film’s executive producer and is chief executive officer of Free To Choose Media. “But today, instead of bouncing back, too many Americans have become ensnared in the net. ‘Work & Happiness’ takes a look at some of the struggles faced by those caught up in it.”

The panel discussion will immediately follow the screening.  It will feature Hope faculty members Kirstin Birkhaug, assistant professor of political science instruction; and Neil Silveus, assistant professor of economics.

The event is hosted by the college’s Markets & Morality student organization and co-sponsored by the college’s Department of Economics and Business and Department of Political Science.

Markets & Morality aims to support and celebrate freedom of expression in the context of the liberal arts by hosting speakers and films on topics spanning the economic, political and cultural aspects of human civilization, with a special concern for human flourishing as understood in Christian perspective.

To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the event, please email  Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at

The Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center is located at 115 E. 12th St., at the center of the Hope campus between College and Columbia avenues along the former 12th Street.  Schaap Auditorium is on the lower level near the building’s southwest corner.