Monday, August 13, 2012

2012: Suddenly, A Historic Election? | Via Meadia

Walther Russell Mead on Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan.  Mead gives the best description I’ve read of the competing visions, and the Democrat’s “Blue State Model”: the ideal from of society referenced here,

For the Obamians, this is the ideal form of society. The apparent creaks and strains of the last thirty years — rising income inequality, stagnating real wages, economic volatility — are the result of policy errors rather than historical forces. Bad, selfish people have dismantled the regulations and controls that kept a healthy middle class economy in place and like Toad of Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows, reckless rich nincompoops have driven the national economy — and the blue social model — into the ditch. President Obama’s goal is to bring back the good old days, and make them better yet. His methods are classic tools of the progressive movement of the twentieth century and he believes that there is much, much more than government can do to make our country richer and our society more just.

The Republican challengers will be attacking this vision head on. They will be arguing that the blue social model is driving us all into the poorhouse. The costs of the entitlement state are relentlessly escalating. Regulatory capture means that the federal agencies supposed to protect the public from the plutocracy end up serving the plutocracy: crony capitalism rather than enlightened public administration is what happens when the state becomes too powerful and too large. They will be arguing that the way out of our present economic stagnation is to unleash the powers of enterprise and competition.

To President Obama, this sounds like the worst kind of anti-FDR, anti-New Deal reactionary Republicanism — Taft rather than Eisenhower. When the President denounces tax cuts for the rich as “trickle down” economics and as the cause of our problems rather than solutions, he means it. Romney and Ryan, he will charge, want to take us back to the individualistic economics of the Roaring Twenties, policies that in his view were directly responsible for the Great Depression, just as their revival under George W. Bush brought on the Great Recession.

2012: Suddenly, A Historic Election? | Via Meadia

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