Friday, January 2, 2009

A test for socialism

Soft left, labor left or social democratic, whichever words you use to describe it, the Obama / Pelosi recipe for fixing our ailing economy is socialist, i.e., "making needed investments in infrastructure, alternative energy, science and other emerging sectors and providing middle-class tax cuts to help make work pay."

I use the word "socialist" not as a pejorative, but accurately. The Obama / Pelosi plan calls for Keynesian redistributive economic policy combined with record setting federal involvement in the economy.

And, it's also currently very popular. ("In a Washington Post-ABC News poll last month, 65 percent of those surveyed said they support new federal spending of as much as $700 billion on construction projects and other programs to try to stimulate the economy. In the same poll, 69 percent of those who supported the plan (47 percent of all adults) said they would still back the spending even if it increased the size of the federal deficit.")

But, be aware of the risk. “It’s all Bush’s fault” will work as well for Obama as “It’s all Clinton’s fault” worked for Bush. Any plan will have 18 months to start showing significant positive impact on economy, or it will be "proof socialism doesn't work" in 2010. Reaganomics (and Republicans in Congress) could be back with a vengeance.

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