Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The conservative "solution" is the problem:

Ross Douthat writes: (emp add)
Conservatism in the United States faces a series of extremely knotty problems at the moment. How do you restrain the welfare state at a time when the entitlements we have are broadly popular, and yet their design puts them on a glide path to insolvency? How do you respond to the socioeconomic trends - wage stagnation, social immobility, rising health care costs, family breakdown, and so forth - that are slowly undermining support for the Reaganite model of low-tax capitalism?
I'd broaden that to
undermining support for low-tax, free-market, globalized capitalism
Because that's led to so many of the problems Douthat identifies. Labor's economic power has been considerabily reduced over the last 30 years. It's not only wage stagnation but reduced health care coverage and the elimination of pensions.

A free-market gives the advantage to those with greater economic power and they will take it, eventually leading to the increased disparity in wealth - which is where we are now.

To a certain extent, the "welfare state" (along with regulation) is used to counter those trends. But Douthat wants to restrain the welfare state. So the problem he identifies cannot be solved within the framework of Douthat's conservatism.


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