June 2, 2008


The Problem With Conservatism Is Conservatism (Greg Anrig, June 2, 2008, American Prospect)

George Packer's New Yorker piece, "The Fall of Conservatism," and the reactions to it among leading thinkers on the right leave little doubt that the patient under scrutiny is indeed gravely ill. But the wide assortment of sometimes contradictory diagnoses and cures suggested by various despondent conservatives in Packer's article and elsewhere all seem to miss the central problem: The main idea that propelled the conservative movement's political success -- that replacing the government with free-market forces would make everyone better off -- simply hasn't worked in practice.

Household net worth at the end of 2007 was $57.7 trillion and, as we avoid this supposed recession too, the American economy will have grown for 25 uninterrupted years since the conservative movement's success began. In addition, abortion has been significantly curtailed, we've added almost a hundred million new Americans, life expectancy is at record levels, crime rates have fallen precipitously, etc., etc. etc.. And not only have we liberated scores of nations but we are in one of the most peaceful epochs in human history and global GDP is growing at 4 or 5%. Little wonder that every country in the Anglosphere and nearly every party (with the conspicuous exception of the post-Bill Clinton Democrats) has adopted Third Way politics.

If this is what failure looks like, six billion folks need a whole lot more.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 2, 2008 1:05 PM

And NYC is much more livable than it was in the 1970's. So I guess a lot of policies have succeeded.

Posted by: Mikey at June 2, 2008 4:28 PM

1.2 million abortions a year and one in every five pregnancies ending in abortion is not "significantly curtailed." Those 100 million new Americans would be 140 million new Americans if we hadn't spend so much time slaughtering the inconvenient small ones. And don't get me started on illegitimacy rates or the near-complete public acceptance of homosexuality.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at June 2, 2008 4:31 PM

Yes, it is significantly curtailed, if still too high.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2008 7:23 PM

"Those 100 million new Americans would be 140 million new Americans if..."

I wonder if anyone has any stats to support the above? I would think that if a woman has an abortion while single and later marries and has kids, the number of kids is likley to be the same or more for her?

Posted by: Perry at June 3, 2008 7:39 AM

But, if she marries with a prior child does the number stay the same for her husband? Darwinism suggests that's unlikely.

Posted by: oj at June 3, 2008 11:46 AM

According to Darwinism, she likely doesn't marry.

Posted by: Perry at June 3, 2008 8:12 PM

Does marry, doesn't stay faithful.

Posted by: oj at June 3, 2008 9:59 PM
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