Interesting Article: The Role Of Uncle Sam

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Listening, May 29, 2012.

  1. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/opinion/brooks-the-role-of-uncle-sam.html?_r=1

    From the dawn of the republic, the federal government has played a vital role in American economic life. Government promoted industrial development in the 18th century, transportation in the 19th, communications in the 20th and biotechnology today.

    This version of economic nationalism meant that he and the people who followed in his path — the Whigs, the early Republicans and the early progressives — focused on long-term structural development, not on providing jobs right now. They had their sights on the horizon, building the infrastructure, education and research facilities required for future greatness. This nationalism also led generations of leaders to assume that there is a rough harmony of interests between capital and labor. People in this tradition reject efforts to divide the country between haves and have-nots.

    Finally, this nationalism meant that policy emphasized dynamism, and opportunity more than security, equality and comfort. While European governments in the 19th and early 20th centuries focused on protecting producers and workers, the U.S. government focused more on innovation and education.

    *****************************

    While I am very much for limited government, this is an interesting take. And it certainly is a slap at the liberals of the day.

    Brooks shows three key things that represent an abandoment of this concept.

    1. The Progressive (Regressive) Era
    2. The New Deal
    3. The Great Society

    All failed liberal efforts (and yes SS is a fail).

    Anyway, this seemed thoughtful.

    Enjoy !
     
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  2. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    A bump for a thoughtful piece.
     
  3. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with all except your silliness about the failure of the Progressive Age, which includes female voting, the New Deal, with the exception of industrial/agricultural failed central planning, and with the Great Society, that reduced poverty by more than 40% in less than six years.

    But an American Plan that promotes business, infrastructure, technology, transportation, communication, and education should be a concept both parties should get behind.
     
  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Interesting article...but, as far as offering 'guidance' to Liberals....It is Einstein's definition of insanity....
     
  5. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    I think that is what makes the list so interesting. What you say is so true.

    Didn't work once....try it again (It has to work....because we (liberals) are so smart).

    Oooops.....well, let's try it again (after all, we are smart).

    Just listen to Rachael Maddow. It is all over her show.

    What I like is the model, only on a more local basis.
     
  6. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    Which is to say, you don't agree with the article.

    The progressive age was a fail.

    So was the New Deal. Unless you like the short term fixes (which are now long term boat anchors), which is just what the article says we should not be focused on.

    As for the war in poverty.....the Great Society....

    The Great Society at least did not bring economic growth to a halt, and therefore did not preclude a continuation of the long-term reduction in the proportion of Americans living in poverty. As for the War on Poverty in particular, however, no such benign evaluation is justified. Matusow, by no means a conservative ideologue, concludes that “the War on Poverty was destined to be one of the great failures of twentieth-century liberalism.”

    Like most of the other Great Society programs, the War on Poverty rested on the presumption that technocrats possessed the knowledge and capacity to identify what needed to be done, design appropriate remedial measures, and implement those measures successfully through the use of government’s coercive power and taxpayers’ money. The technocrats did not give much weight—indeed, they generally gave no weight whatsoever—to the possibility of what later came to be known in Public Choice theory as “government failure.”

    According to LBJ’s biographer, Paul Conkin, Johnson “never easily conceded that any except purely private problems did not lend themselves to a political answer. That is, government could directly or indirectly alleviate any distress.” White House aide Joseph Califano later confessed, “We did not recognize that government could not do it all.” Yet to describe the War on Poverty as merely hubristic would be too kind to its promoters.

    The Great Society

    ********************

    In fact, I've seen credible papers that argue that if LBJ had not done this, our povery rates would be lower now and the ability to get out of poverty would be more enhanced.
     
  7. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Listening, you are wrong on all points, period. Go check the stats and get back to me.
     
  8. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    Sure.

    You just sit tight and wait.......
     
  9. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Make sure they are unbiased, objective stats. Blogs from wing nuts are somewhat suspect, donchaknow?
     
  10. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    " Does government encourage long-term innovation or leave behind long-term debt for short-term expenditure? Does government nurture an enterprising citizenry, or a secure but less energetic one?

    If the U.S. doesn’t modernize its governing institutions, the nation will stagnate. The ghost of Hamilton will be displeased. "


    The above quote is from the OP link, at the very end. It kind of summarizes our choices these days. We get warnings seemingly all the time about the unsustainability of the entitlement programs and the dangers of the increasing debt and deficits, and pols from both sides seem to agree. But nothing gets done, nobody wants to cooperate with the other side. And the real tragedy is that future generations will have to pay for our mistakes. Don't know about you, but I feel really bad about that.
     

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