Can Progressives Move Beyond the Middle Ages?

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Dean Baker new book is online- The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer;

”The book takes issue with the prevailing political metaphor in U.S. politics: that liberals want the government to intervene to promote fairness and equity, while conservatives want to leave outcomes to the market. The book argues that conservatives (or at least those in power) support a wide range of government interventions that have the effect of distributing income upward. This list includes a trade and immigration policy that places less-skilled workers in direct competition with workers in developing countries, while protecting highly paid professionals from the same sort of competition. Another item on the list is Federal Reserve Board policies that deliberately weaken the bargaining power of less-skilled workers in order to keep inflation under control.

A third set of policies involves the use of patents and copyrights – government enforced monopolies – that lead to large economic distortions, and incidentally also allow some people to get very rich. Even corporations themselves owe their existence to the government – there are only individuals out there in strict free market land.

The book is intended to force a rethinking of the relationship between the government and the economy. The current framing -- that liberals like government and conservatives like the market -- works well for those who support the economic policies of the last quarter century. Those who think that we can do better need a new framework.”

Related post: Going to Harvard Can Lead to Rising Inequality

2 Comments

He lost my interest after he denounced the corporate form itself, rather than particular corporations.

Calling for a world of only partnerships is not a blueprint for the 21st Century.

Well, if people will do everything and won't give up nothing is impossible,I am sure these ideas can still work effectively. - Kris Krohn

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on May 11, 2006 11:54 PM.

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