2005-12-19t19:25:02Z | TAGS: Politics. U.S.A. (America).
Ownership society

I'm so hesitant to post anything political these days because so much of it is blatant that they "other side" is doing a much better job of shooting themselves in the foot than anything I might say. That said here's one from the echo chamber:

Bush's Ownership Society: Why No One's Buying [washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0512.glastris.html] By Paul Glastris

Americans love the idea of choice—in the abstract. But when faced with the actual choices conservatives present, they aren't buying. The reason is that conservatives have constructed choices that fail to take human nature into account. People like to have choices but feel quickly overwhelmed when they lack the information or expertise to decide confidently, and they turn downright negative when the choices themselves seem to put what they already have at risk. Conservatives were bound to make these mistakes because their very aim has been to transfer more risks from government to individuals so that government's size and expenditures can be cut. That's not a bargain most Americans will accept. They like choice just fine, but they won't trade security to get it.

There are plenty of good reasons, then, for progressives to embrace the idea of designing more choice and individual control into government programs. But doing so means facing down some major opposition—from corporations that don't want to be regulated to liberal interest groups that often oppose choice initiatives. Liberals also have to stop accepting the right-wing proposition that choice and empowerment are somehow inherently conservative ideas. But it's conservatives who face the bigger obstacle. They are committed to a strategy of using choice as a Trojan horse to undermine government, yet it's impossible to make choice work in the real world without strong measures from government. With choice, as with so much else, conservative have mastered the art of winning elections with abstract language voters agree with, even as they push policies voters don't much like. They can't pull that trick off forever. At some point, conservatives themselves are going to have to make a choice. 

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