The “People United” Go Down in Flames by Walter Russell Mead in The American Interest
What happened in Wisconsin last night wasn’t, as a distraught young voter told CNN in the video above, the death of democracy in America. But it was an important stage in the death of an old vision of what America is about. What was once a common vision of the future — the “liberal” utopia of the last fifty years — is behind us now. We need a new future because the old one has turned into the past.
I Almost Agree With Summers by John Cochrane in his blog The Grumpy Economist
Any rational chief financial officer in the private sector would see this as a moment to extend debt maturities and lock in low rates – exactly the opposite of what central banks are doing. In the U.S. Treasury, for example, discussions of debt-management policy have had exactly this emphasis. But the Treasury does not alone control the maturity of debt when the central bank is active in all debt markets.
…Any rational business leader would use a moment like this to term out its debt. Governments in the industrialized world should do so too.
The Upside of the Downside by Jonah Goldberg in Townhall
It also turns out that our politics have a capacity for self-correction that few experts anticipated. When President Obama came into office, his administration’s mantra was “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” This little prayer to cynicism masquerading as an idealistic insight was used to justify vast expansions of government. The social scientists even told us this was to be expected. After all, they explained, during times of economic hardship, voters rally around the government.
Except that’s not true. Yes, it happened during the Great Depression. But ever since, liberalism has been a luxury thriving on prosperity, not austerity. The Great Society was a byproduct of the so-called Affluent Society.
Instead of a tsunami of political support for ObamaCare and government unions, we got the Tea Party and the rollback of public-sector collective bargaining. Instead of massive support for Obama’s green agenda, the air is thick with calls for more drilling, more fracking and more Keystone pipelines. It turns out the “new progressive era” was just too pricey.