July 14, 2015

BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE 1930s: “Hillary Clinton’s Uber Speech Belongs in 1930s America,” Kevin D. Williamson writes at NRO:

Economically, the Clinton-Sanders-Warren-O’Malley project is stuck squarely in 1938. Theirs is a country in which tax rates can be set without reference to global competition; in which the taxi commission and the trade union are the heroes while the entrepreneurs and the dissenters are a royal pain in the ass; in which families can simply not be trusted to determine which services suit their needs and which do not. It’s a country in which our heinously outdated, grossly illiberal, neo-Prussian educational system is to be set more firmly in place — even as it crumbles and falls. It is a country in which the state must determine which firms are Good and which firms are Bad, and reward or punish them according to its whim. It is a country in which Upton Sinclair is an up-and-coming writer, and in which anybody who doubts the efficacy of federal control is in danger of falling headfirst into a rendering vat.

Hey, 1938 actually would be “Progress” of a sort — in November of 2008, Time magazine Photoshopped Obama into the second coming of FDR in 1933, complete with jaunty cigarette holder for that week’s in-kind contribution to the DNC from Time-Warner-CNN-HBO. Curiously though, they meant their cover blurb, “The New New Deal,” as a compliment, and not a warning.

Meanwhile at Commentary, Noah Rothman charts “The Regressive Goals of Progressivism in America:”

Much of Clinton’s economic platform can be written off as constituency maintenance. As the power of organized labor in the United States has contracted amid unfavorable economic realities, this paranoid and cornered institution has grown rabidly protective of the privileges it earned in the 20th Century. Democrats are more than happy to take advantage of the organizational muscle and campaign contributions that they can exploit from labor unions, even if that means sloughing off its image as the party of tomorrow.

It was this impulse that led President Barack Obama to lament the “structural changes” in the economy that have replaced bank tellers with automatic teller machines and airport ticketing agents with kiosks. The left has always regarded the creative destruction inherent to capitalism as a problem to be managed and guided (or abolished altogether). But this fundamental aspect of market economics can only be leashed for so long before it must be suppressed through state-sanctioned coercion. Democrats who are consumed with the project of hiking the minimum wage will be shocked to discover that those states and municipalities that pass wage hikes have only incentivized and accelerated the process of automating rote tasks. And to inhibit this innovative evolution further, the left must again appeal to the power of the state. Only the threat of force can compel the tides of history to recede.

Rarely have Republicans been in such an advantageous position, blessed as they are with an opposition party that is so consumed with the preservation of unearned privilege and the maintenance of special interests. While the left stands athwart history, yelling “stop,” they victimize the millions of average Americans who benefited from cheaper taxis, no-frills hospitality services, and reduced retail prices as a result of a lack of brick-and-mortar overhead. The modern “progressive” wants nothing more than to roll back the clock to the turn of the 20th Century. If Republicans cannot make the case for advancement better than the spooked Luddites who today dare call themselves “progressives,” they should clear the field for those who can.

If anybody can blow it, it’s the Stupid Party.

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