an excerpt from an excellent interview with George Will on Econtalk-
Russ Roberts: So, that conflict isn’t the one I’m most worried about. The one I’m most worried about is the Wilsonians against the Madisonians. Or maybe there’s a third group in there. Because there’s this new phenomenon in Conservatism or at least in the Republican Party, which is Populism/Nationalism/Trumpism–whatever you want to call it. Is there–you and I both lived through the 1960s, which was a tumultuous era. A lot of people died. There were bombings–and political bombings, not just terrorism. There was a war of ideas that led to death. But not very many. Most of it was over the War in Vietnam, at least nominally. The War ended. It sort of settled down. I don’t see a healthy future for the United States in the sense of a shared vision of what our country is. Your book is an attempt to provide that. It will appeal deeply to a very small group. I respect them all. I would put myself in that group–the people who, we haven’t gotten to it yet, but, your book’s about the ideal of returning to the Constitution and the ideals of the Founders. It’s a quixotic mission I salute you for. But is there any potential for a shared vision of our country that would lead to a healthy future, as opposed to, say, a civil war?
George Will: What worries me is a shared vision that’s destructive. We talk a lot about the discord in America today, and Lord knows it’s real enough. But I am much more alarmed by a consensus and it’s as broad as the Republic[?] and it’s as deep as the Grand Canyon; it is simply this: We should have a large, ever-more-generous welfare state and not pay for it. Everyone–everyone–is agreed on that. The political class, which I believe is much more united by class interests than it is divided by ideology–the political class from Elizabeth Warren on the Left to Ted Cruise on the Right, it agrees that we should permanently run large deficits, because it makes big government cheap. The public loves it: It gets a dollar’s worth of government; it’s charged 80 cents for it. Twenty cents–a fifth of the government–is fobbed off on the future generations, which are unconsenting because unborn. And we roll merrily along. We are about to run a trillion dollar deficit at more than full employment. And we with[?] 6 million unfilled jobs in this country–never mind the people clamoring to get in at our southern border to fill the jobs. I mean, this is astonishing. And, this again–we are on a trajectory to increased sluggishness economically, which will mean increased ferocity politically as we use political power to allocate wealth and opportunity, which we used to assign to markets.