[ExI] The reassurances of Fascism aka Progressive Corporatism

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Sep 23 13:35:27 UTC 2008

NYT conservative commentator David Brooks sez:

Over the next few years, the U.S. will have to 
climb out from under mountainous piles of debt. 
Many predict a long, gray recession. The country 
will not turn to free-market supply-siders. Nor 
will it turn to left-wing populists. It will turn 
to the safe heads from the investment banks. For 
Republicans, people like Paulson. For Democrats, 
the guiding lights will be those establishment 
figures who advised Barack Obama last week ­ 
including Volcker, Robert Rubin and Warren Buffett.

These time-tested advisers, or more precisely, 
their acolytes, are going to make the health and 
survival of the financial markets their first 
order of business, because without that 
stability, the entire economy will be in danger. 
Beyond that, they will embrace a certain sort of governing approach.

The government will be much more active in 
economic management (pleasing a certain sort of 
establishment Democrat). Government activism will 
provide support to corporations, banks and 
business and will be used to shore up the stable 
conditions they need to thrive (pleasing a 
certain sort of establishment Republican). Tax 
revenues from business activities will pay for 
progressive but business-friendly causes ­ 
investments in green technology, health care 
reform, infrastructure spending, education reform and scientific research.

If you wanted to devise a name for this approach, 
you might pick the phrase economist Arnold Kling 
has used: Progressive Corporatism. We’re not 
entering a phase in which government stands back 
and lets the chips fall. We’re not entering an 
era when the government pounds the powerful on 
behalf of the people. We’re entering an era of 
the educated establishment, in which government 
acts to create a stable ­ and often oligarchic ­ 
framework for capitalist endeavor.

After a liberal era and then a conservative era, 
we’re getting a glimpse of what comes next.


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