Sunday, April 15, 2012


Brad DeLong thinks Romney adviser Gregory Mankiw is inadvertently making a case for Obama's reelection in this New York Times op-ed.

Key quote from Mankiw:

If the government's job is merely to provide services, like roads, schools and courts, competition among governmental producers may be... good.... But if government's job is also to remedy many of life's inequities, you may want a stronger centralized government....

These are two fundamentally different visions. The next election, and to some degree every election, is about which one voters find more compelling.

To which Brad responds:

But does anybody doubt that social insurance is one of the (many) proper jobs of the government?

Has anybody ever doubted this?

Um, yes -- pretty much the entire modern Republican Party. Certainly the majority of Republican members of the House, and all the GOP presidential candidates, with the possible exception of Fred Karger and Buddy Roemer.

We really no longer live in a society that overwhelmingly believes government should intervene in the war of each against all -- as we will find out, to our horror, if the candidate Mankiw advises becomes the next president of the United States.

1 comment:

BH said...

Pretty much the Repub position historically, too. There used to be a few more exceptions than now, perhaps, but it's not as if the GOP ever signed on en masse to any of Wilson's, FDR's, Truman's, Kennedy's or Johnson's social-insurance policies. Or TR's or George Norris' either, for that matter.