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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

AEI: Opinion: James Pethokoukis: The New Marxism: What is Democratic Capitalism


AEI: Opinion: James Pethokoukis: The New Marxism

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Winston Churchill famously said, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest." This logical form can be applied to other systems as well.

It works fairly well in economics, e.g., "Capitalism is the worst economic system except for all the rest."  Capitalism has many forms.  In one, Laisssez-Faire economics, government has no role in the economy and all capital is controlled by the private sector with no rules on how to operate. Whatever government exists is funded by trade tariffs.  This form was found seriously wanting and discarded at the end of the 19th century.

The beauty of capitalism, in whatever form, is that individuals are not guaranteed wealth.  They have to earn it.  This incentivizes them to get a good education and be productive in life so that they don't need public assistance to take care of them.  In a good capitalist economic system, as many people as possible are able to get the skills needed to be productive and successful in life.  Liberals, Conservatives, Progressives and Socialists have been arguing about this at least since the New Deal.

Even Socialists in Europe and in America now acknowledge that capitalism and private enterprise are here to stay.  The Marxists have lost, so the question now is what type of capitalist economic system should we have. I went into this on my blog yesterday but as a Liberal I believe in liberal capitalism or liberal economics.  Some on the far-left would call this "Neo-Liberalism" (because it is not Socialism). But it is is an economic system where, ideally, everyone has an opportunity to attain the  education needed to succeed in life. 

In such a system, the role of government is to protect workers and consumers not from themselves but from predators who would hurt them and to help people who fall though the floor of the system.  The  safety net exists to give them temporary financial relief and a hand up.  This is the outline of liberal capitalism. 



The Federalist: Opinion: David Corbin & Matt Parks: Publius and the Progressives: Progressivism vs. State Collectivism


The Federalist: Opinion: David Corbin & Matt Parks: Publius And The Progressives

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

I see two dominant political factions in the Democratic Party today.  The first is the FDR/LBJ progressives, who are not Socialists but real Democratic progressives in the best sense of the word. They believe that we should have an essentially free market economy that works for everyone and that there should be social insurance for people who fall through the cracks of the capitalist private enterprise system.  They believe in a big centralized government and tend not to trust the states but they also believe that there are limits to what government can do well for people.

The second is the JFK/WJC or Bill Clinton Liberals who are called New Democrats.  They believe that the safety net should just be there for the people who really need it.  They like the idea of states being able to run their own social insurance programs  and that these programs should primarily empower people to take care of themselves. These are the economic philosophies of the two factions.  They have been the dominant factions in the Democratic Party for over eighty years and the basis of the party's dominance over that period of time.

The people who are called Liberals and Progressives in America would probably be Conservatives in Canada or Britain and their center-left parties would look like our far-left parties, which brings me to my next point.  The Democratic Party changed in the mid and late 1960s as more baby boomers came of age and became Democrats.   The New-Left in America, today, is made up a lot of boomers and their kids.  They staffed the Occupy Wall Street movement. This far-left movement combines both socialist and anarchist (when they see certain laws as unjust) leanings.  They want a government large enough to see that no one is rich or poor, that we are all the same even if some of us are more productive and skilled than the rest.

The MSNBC talk lineup (is there anything else on MSNBC these days?) gets labeled as "progressive talk or progressive voices" when they are not ( and they sure as hell ain't liberal either!).  In actuality, they (except for Ed Schultz and to a certain extent Larry O'Donnell) speak for the Occupy Movement and the New-Left in America.   The rest of them, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hays, and Melissa Harris-Perry are, I'm sure, fine decent people but they are whacked out New-Leftists.  There are no limits to what they believe the government, especially the Federal government, can do for people.  They essentially believe that Americans should want to (and consider it an honor to)  pay Uncle Sam as much in taxes as necessary to take care of all us.