Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Honest Look At The Response To Economic Crisis

Will Wilkinson on Redistribution, Fairness, and Stability:

When Obama said in the campaign he meant to “spread the wealth around,” I’m sure most people took that to mean downward redistribution meant to rectify either the unfairness of rising inequality, the unfairness of the fact that some people are struggling for no fault of their own, or both. But bailouts of all sorts–to banks, to car companies, to underwater homeowners–spreads the wealth around in an entirely different way. “Investment” in the “green economy” spreads the wealth around. Increasing the size of the military spreads the wealth around. And so on. None of this accords with any coherent notion of fairness. And the scale of Obama’s initiatives do badly unsettle the structure around which people build expectations, and that’s an independent source of unfairness. We desperately need better framework rules for both private and public finance. It would be silly to oppose serious structural reform. But what we’re getting is the kind of half-panicked, half-opportunistic myopic intervention that breeds future half-panicked, half-opportunistic intervention. That is the opposite of what we need.


Anonymous rose said...

This is not a liberaltarian.

His differences w/ conservatives are not limited to the welfare state. He is interested in consolidating as much power as is politically possible, not just in government in general, but in the executive office. He wants as many as possible important healthcare and energy decisions originating from his office, or from his "czars". And he will always choose regulation and control over market based solutions.

He is proving to be as liberal as the alarmists (including myself) feared he was.

12:56 PM  

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