Do follow up my last post on the true meaning of “centrism” by reading Michael Tomasky’s “The Real Legacy of the 1970s” at the New York Times. He argues that it was in the 1970s that the nation shifted from its old consensus on Keynesian economics to the “supply side” nonsense that never worked but which we can’t seem to get rid of.
… walk down a street and ask 20 people a few questions about economic policy — I bet most will say that taxes must be kept low, even on rich people, and that we should let the market, not the government, decide on investments. Point to the hospital up the street and tell them that it wouldn’t even be there without the millions in federal dollars of various kinds it takes in every year, and they’ll mumble and shrug.
The 1970s also saw the beginnings of the Democratic Party’s lurch to the right, as the establishment sought to distance itself from both the New Left and from Lyndon Johnson’s mixed legacy of the Great Society and the Vietnam War. The heads-up-their-ass Democratic Party leadership that has been misdirecting the party for the past 20 to 30 years started their careers in the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in the rise of neoliberalism in the early 1980s. And,of course, the Republican Party has gotten nuttier and nuttier since Reagan.
Then follow that up by reading this post by Steve M, which concludes,
I think the rich assume they’re bulletproof now. They think they’ll maintain their ability to hoard all the nice stuff even if the rest of America (or the world) burns. And I wish I believed they were wrong about that. I support progressive politicians, but I suspect it may be impossible now to make significant improvements to ordinary Americans’ lives through conventional politcal means. I fear the rich won’t allow us to do that unless we threaten to destroy their world.
Then move on to Sean Illing, Why are millennials burned out? Capitalism. In brief, capitalism as we know it doesn’t appear to be sustainable, yet it’s questionable whether meaningful reform is possible in our current political climate. We’ve lost the Vital Center, people.