En Tequila Es Verdad/progressive conservatism/post/2009/05/22/0504

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May 22, 2009 5:04 AM - Mike

Mike at The Big Stick said...

Re: Coulter

I'll give you two:

- Hollywood glorifies unwed births and that probably isn't good for society.

- Changes to lending rules under Clinton were a major factor in the housing foreclosure problem we have today.


May 22, 2009 5:35 AM - Mike

Mike at The Big Stick said...

You brought up the point that the world is 'overcrowded' before and I believe I challenged it while never receiving a response. I will accept that some countries are over-crowded in the sense that there aren't enough resources for every citizen, but in that respect you could almost argue that the US was over-crowded during the Depression because people were going hungry. So the implication is really about the ratio of resources to people. When you start digging in that direction you quickly find that worldwide there is more than enough resources for people, it's just a problem with distribution. So you're going to have to do better if you want o use that as a reason to invalidate S & D's call for a healthy birthrate.

When you start looking at the US (and that's where their proposals are meant to be applied) you actually see a birthrate that is nearly negative in certain cities like San Francisco and rapidly dropping in other places. Even making an exception for SF as the gay capital of the United States, it's still disturbing. Why? Because the birthrate is usually an indicator of demographics. There is no diversity in San Francisco. I would think a liberal would appreciate how bad that is. The simplest answer is that you cannot build an economy on gay couples or white collar workers who historically don't produce as many children. There is a reason why the middle class is considered ideal. They are more integrated into various sectors of the economy than those at the top. And a healthy birthrate is an indicator of a vibrant middle class (of course the lower class also has a lot of kids, which is actually something we need to fix - but another topic).

I appreciate that you are acknowledging that some of these ideas are forward-thinking and arguably 'progressive'. As to fleshing them out or making them even more appealing, you would have to read their book that was sprang from this article. It goes into a lot more detail on all of these proposals. They have some really creative ideas for using the tax code to encourage desirable behaviors, some of which they discuss in the article. One example I am a big fan of is using tax credits to create larger incentives for people to be stay-at-home parents. I believe they even floated the idea of giving families with kids in a certain age bracket a complete tax amnesty.

Much of what they propose is specifically a progressive conservatism because instead of taking the liberal do-what-you-want-and-the-government-provides-a-safety-net route they believe the government should use it's leverage to encourage more desirable behaviors. As they say, "...just as culture impacts economics, so too can economic policy affect cultural trends." That point is a key point of conservative philosophy. I would argue that liberals generally see cultural trends as a juggernaut that can't / shouldn't ever be stopped.