New Deal

The New Deal at 75: An Inspiration, Not a Blueprint

newdeal1.png

Whatever your political perspective, Americans need to admire the New Deal for, if nothing else, its ambitious agenda. In a way unparalleled in the 20th Century, the New Deal left us a legacy of achievement – one that we can still see in big cities like San Francisco and small towns like Wishek, North Dakota.  read more »

Subjects:

Grandpa's Basement House

grandpas-basement-house.jpg

My mother-in-law was born in a small town in rural Nebraska in 1941. Her father was oversees fighting World War II for the first few years of her life, so she and her mother lived on her grandparents’ farm in a society absent of young men.  read more »

The Green New Deal will Impoverish America

green-new-deal-presser_med.jpg

‘The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all… Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.’ So said Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and generally acknowledged author of the Green New Deal.  read more »

What Happened to Social Democracy?

rose-of-social-democracy_nicolas-nieves-quiroz_unsplash.jpg

In a world that seems to be divided between neoliberal orthodoxy and identitarian dogmas, it is possible to miss the waning presence of traditional social democracy. Born of the radical Left in Marx’s own time, social democrats worked, sometimes with remarkable success, to improve the living standards of working people by accommodating the virtues of capitalism. Today, that kind of social democracy—learned at home from my immigrant grandparents and from the late Michael Harrington, one time head of the American Socialist Party—is all but dead.  read more »

Give Me Paris? -- Or Detroit and Bismarck, Odessa and Midland

automation-vehicle-manufacture.jpg

It looks like the early days of the Biden administration are setting up an economic faceoff between the sensibilities of the coasts and the realities of Flyover Country. Or, as an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal put it, "Will Biden Choose Paris Over Bismarck and Pierre?"  read more »

Nixon's Revolutionary Vision for American Governance

Nixon_30-0316a.jpg

President Nixon, though possessing the instincts and speaking the increasingly conservative language of the mainstream Republican Party all his life (his writings on domestic policy attest to this,) governed within the boundaries set by the New Deal. Where other conservatives like Barry Goldwater had no interest in “streamlining government,” “making it more efficient,” and “promoting welfare,” Nixon sought to do exactly these things.  read more »

Does a Big Country Need to do Big Things? Yes. Do We Need a Big Government to do them? No.

dingmans-bridge.jpg

TV network MSNBC's left-leaning commentator Rachel Maddow has opened herself up to ridicule by the conservative blogsophere over her advert featuring the Hoover Dam. The thrust of the spot is that “we don’t do big things anymore” but that we should. But critics say the dam couldn’t be built today due to environmental opposition to exactly these kinds of projects. Indeed many in the Administration and their green allies are more likely to crusade for the destruction of current dams than for the building of new ones.

Both sides have their points.  read more »

How Liberalism Self-destructed

fdr.jpg

Democrats are still looking for explanations for their stunning rejection in the midterms — citing everything from voting rights violations and Middle America’s racist orientation to Americans’ inability to perceive the underlying genius of President Barack Obama’s economic policy.

What they have failed to consider is the albatross of contemporary liberalism.  read more »

Anger Could Make Us Stronger

iStock_000004595370XSmall.jpg

The notion of a populist outburst raises an archaic vision of soot-covered industrial workers waving placards. Yet populism is far from dead, and represents a force that could shape our political future in unpredictable ways.

People have reasons to be mad, from declining real incomes to mythic levels of greed and excess among the financial elite. Confidence in political and economic institutions remains at low levels, as does belief in the future.  read more »

Obama's Other History

hoovervan.JPG

The coverage of President Barack Obama’s first days in office has been intense, to say the least. Yet it has still managed to overlook an historical comparison that is worthy of our consideration.

Obama took office just a few months after a stock market crash that left no doubt about the rugged shape of our economy. The ensuing decline has been swift and scary, leading some to talk about a possible fall into an outright depression.  read more »