Monday, July 16, 2007

Populism, aka Giving a Fig

New York Times article this morning on how more Democrats are embracing "a view that current economic conditions are difficult and deteriorating for many people, analysts say, and it is now framing debates over tax policy, education, trade, energy and health care."

"Democrats say they are responding to economic trends that the statistics in the headlines do not capture, including middle-class insecurity about jobs, the affordability of health insurance and the costs of education. The times have changed, these Democrats argue, and six years of Republican tax and economic policies have heightened the inequities."

I think increased voting among younger voters can only strengthen this trend. The young people I meet don't take the default position that government is bad. They want to work for it, the climate change movement (among other crucial issues) can't succeed without it, and they believe federal and state policies has a role in making life more fair.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Imagine that... Liberal Arts majors (people who couldn't hack it in the real world) would like to work for the government (a place where incompetence is handsomely rewarded through ignoring merit).

Eric said...

Agreed on Lib Arts majors!

I was in the military and saw this first hand. If you're there long enough, you're sure to be promoted eventually--regardless of true merit.

Young people should take the default position that gov't is bad.

One good note: only the government can ensure environmental standards. That is one thing they should be doing, then let corporations figure out how to meet the standards. Pollution is an unvoluntary cost pushed onto others.

Liberal Arts Dude said...

To Anonymous and Erik

As a Liberal Arts major myself who has worked my ass off to get where I am, I really do resent the superior, smug and condescending remarks by both of you. Stereotyping is the lazy person's way of thinking and that is exactly what you are doing. Anyway, what exactly do you two have to say about the heart of the matter of Anya's post and blog, which is that socioeconomic conditions are deteriorating for the middle and working classes? While I have my doubts on the sincerity of politicians to really embrace Populist ideals, I am glad that there are people like Anya who are fighting the good fight. You can be as anti-government as you want but the heart of the matter still exists of what to do about it. Smug, condescending people like you seem to give the impression that society is in great shape and that there is nothing happening dire on the socioeconomic front and therefore, nothing needs to be done (except of course, take on superior attitudes towards those with Liberal Arts majors).

Eric said...

Forgive me for not phrasing my comment properly. Obviously not all Lib Arts majors are lazy or inept. Unfortunately, a lot of people(e.g. athletes) are pushed into those majors for thier lack of quantitative rigor(undergrad business classes are following suit).

As for what Anya is doing, the most I can say is that at least she's politically active. I wish more young people were. History has shown that her views carry unintended consequences that could,in the long term, lead our country into further economic harm.

Clearly our society is not in great shape. I tell as many young people as I can that they need to wake up and see that we're trading freedom for security.

Thanks you for pointing out my thoughtless comment. I'll try to be better in the future. All Apologies Lib Arts Dude.

Eric

Tommy said...

I hate it when people criticise others by saying "they don't live in the real world."

I majored in History in college, worked in the legal field and am now a trademark paralegal for a large law firm, am married, have two young children, own a house, pay a mortgage and property taxes.

Thus, as you can see, I very much live in "the real world."