Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I've been convinced for a long time now that we need to transcend left/right polarity on many seriously pressing issues, including "the economy" and particularly sustainable and equitable development and (yes) growth. Here's a good example of why I think Obama is the superior candidate, not just compared to McCain, but also to the other vanquished primary candidates Democrat and Republican alike (and don't even get me started on the oligarch-friendly Bush administration).

Pull quotes:

"The market is the best mechanism ever invented for efficiently allocating resources to maximize production,” Obama told [
David Leonhardt, NYT]. “And I also think that there is a connection between the freedom of the marketplace and freedom more generally.” But, he continued, “there are certain things the market doesn’t automatically do."

"I think I can tell a pretty simple story. Ronald Reagan ushered in an era that reasserted the marketplace and freedom. He made people aware of the cost involved of government regulation or at least a command-and-control-style regulation regime. Bill Clinton to some extent continued that pattern, although he may have smoothed out the edges of it. And George Bush took Ronald Reagan’s insight and ran it over a cliff. And so I think the simple way of telling the story is that when Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over, he wasn’t arguing for an era of no government. So what we need to bring about is the end of the era of unresponsive and inefficient government and short-term thinking in government, so that the government is laying the groundwork, the framework, the foundation for the market to operate effectively and for every single individual to be able to be connected with that market and to succeed in that market. And it’s now a global marketplace."

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