dThe Boxed In Democrats - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
 home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |
Are The French Toast Yet? Baby-Boomers Break the Budget

print view

The Boxed-in Democrats

by Christopher Chantrill
November 29, 2006 at 4:23 pm

WHEN THEY WERE in opposition in Congress the Democrats opposed, ferociously. Now they are the majority, committed to increase subsidies for the already subsidized in education and health care, as provided in their New Direction for America.

But will their instinct to increase the welfare state be possible? Michael Barone has his doubts.

In their hearts, most elected Democrats would like to move us some distance closer to a European-style welfare state -- slouching toward Scandinavia, some conservatives might call it.

But they probably won’t be able to do so, at least not very much.

They want to increase the minimum wage, but very few people work at the minimum wage. They could increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, but they have kinda boxed themselves in with a “pay-go” rule that prevents tax cuts unless they are balanced by spending cuts.

Then there’s the Alternative Minimum Tax that is unindexed for inflation and deliciously hurts the rich, but hurts the liberal rich in blue states more than the conservative rich in red states.

Former Clinton aides like Gene Sperling are concerned about the insecurity felt by many workers. Yet the security offered by mid-twentieth century corporations isn’t likely to be on offer. Instead Sperling

is for a "universal 401(k)," which would give all workers tax-sheltered savings accounts, funded by employers and employees.

That sounds rather like President Bush’s reform of Social Security, that “Democrats scorned.”

Republicans may be downhearted at their mid-term losses, but more important than Republican positive self-esteem is national hygiene.

And national hygiene demands that Democrats stop opposing and start proposing. The problem is that first of all they have to break out of the box they have put themselves in.

|

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


mysql close

 

©2007 Christopher Chantrill