As Ed Morrissey writes, “Rarely will you see an American politician speak in such a vapid and meaningless manner than does Howard Dean in this brief clip from last April, speaking to a small group in Paris”:
But the silliest notion of Dean’s patter is that somehow we’ve just come to the conclusion that the US is going to have both capitalism and socialism. That has been true in the US at least since 1933 and FDR’s New Deal. It became even more true during LBJ’s “Great Society” efforts. We have had a mix of socialism funded by capitalism for several decades, and not coincidentally, we have the national debt to show for it. The debate now is whether we want corporatism in the finance, energy, and health-care fields, which will be an entree to complete government control of those industries in the long term, or whether we want to pursue the free-market solutions that actually create and expand prosperity.
Still, you can understand Dean’s confusion here. It’s not like there’s a book available explaining how this started, and how deeply intertwined big business and big government truly are.