Friday, July 24, 2009

Comment Rescue: What do progressives want?

I suspect a href=""this comment by DelawareDem/a was ioff the cuff/i and not intended to be all-inclusive, but it is instructive:br /br /blockquotespan style="font-style:italic;"A progressive Democrat believes that government should and can provide a social safety net for its population, like social security, unemployment insurance and healthcare. It should set standards and provide funding for education. And of course the government should provide for the national defense. In other areas, the government should regulate the free market to prevent fraud and monopolies, but should otherwise allow the market to work./span/blockquotebr /br /What interests me is the disparity between this comment and the realities of what progressive Democrats actually work toward. Take this part: iIn other areas, the government should regulate the free market to prevent fraud and monopolies, but should otherwise allow the market to work./i You have to wonder exactly what that means, since on its face it would not include having the government intervene to bail out particular manufacturing sectors or to interfere in the internal rules of companies to set the compensation rates for executives. But these are both things that have happened over the past year, and the current occupant of the White House has been roundly criticized by many on the progressive left for not going far /br /Also missing in DD's definition of what a progressive Democrat believes is any indication of how the government should pay for all this. I know that's not missing from the progressive philosophy, because the iprogressive/i income tax, surcharges on iexcessive/i wealth, and an overall taxation level above 40% of GDP and 50% of individual income are heart and soul of the progressive Democrat /br /But so is mandatory safety regulation that restricts personal choice (helmet laws, seatbelt laws) /br /Then there are the details--always the details!--with things like health care, which includes (as it is on the table currently) a potential bonanza for trial lawyers, mandatory end-of-life counseling, and potential built-in provisions that would covertly end private insurance while taxing businesses for not providing it!?br /br /Or the details of national defense, our progressive kin have been awfully quiet about the currents administration's continuation and extension of Bushco Constitutional abuses, the ever-expanding war in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater, or the amazing continually ballooning defense budget and /br /The point here is explicitly not to bash DD for making a good-faith effort to define the interests of progressive Dems in a short paragraph, but to emphasize that the devil is always in the details of how far you extend the power of the State to achieve your aims. From my perspective the progressives tend to come down on the side of ias far as possible in the pursuit of noble goals/i, which is sometimes scarier than the consequences of the problems they are trying to solve....div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src=''//div

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