March 4, 2013
TO THE CONTRARY...:
Republicans and Their Faulty Moral Arithmetic : Conservative values and money issues are worth less than concern for the poor. (ARTHUR C. BROOKS, 3/04/13, WSJ)
As New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has shown in his research on 132,000 Americans, care for the vulnerable is a universal moral concern in the U.S. In his best-selling 2012 book "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion," Mr. Haidt demonstrated that citizens across the political spectrum place a great importance on taking care of those in need and avoiding harm to the weak. By contrast, moral values such as sexual purity and respect for authority--to which conservative politicians often give greater emphasis--resonate deeply with only a minority of the population. Raw money arguments, e.g., about the dire effects of the country's growing entitlement spending, don't register morally at all.Conservatives are fighting a losing battle of moral arithmetic. They hand an argument with virtually 100% public support--care for the vulnerable--to progressives, and focus instead on materialistic concerns and minority moral viewpoints. [...]
Some say the solution for conservatives is either to redouble the attacks on big government per se, or give up and try to build a better welfare state. Neither path is correct. Raging against government debt and tax rates that most Americans don't pay gets conservatives nowhere, and it will always be an exercise in futility to compete with liberals on government spending and transfers.Instead, the answer is to make improving the lives of vulnerable people the primary focus of authentically conservative policies. For example, the core problem with out-of-control entitlements is not that they are costly--it is that the impending insolvency of Social Security and Medicare imperils the social safety net for the neediest citizens. Education innovation and school choice are not needed to fight rapacious unions and bureaucrats--too often the most prominent focus of conservative education concerns--but because poor children and their parents deserve better schools.
...conservative (Third Way) policies outbid the Left by quite a margin, they just pay at the front end instead of the back. For instance, O'Neill accounts for every child in America are enormously generous, but they pay off in policy terms, as well as financial, in the long run.Posted by Orrin Judd at March 4, 2013 4:37 PM