Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A New "New Deal" For America

David Moberg, a senior editor at In These Times wrote this week in Back for the Future:

The discussions on the fringes of the [Democratic] convention often returned to another era: the 1930s. Progressives pointed to a panoply of problems facing the country: deepening economic downturn, environmental and economic crises based on our dependence on oil, record economic inequality, a broken healthcare system, and inadequate public investment in education and infrastructure.

Redressing these failings will require a "transformational presidency," like that of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as journalist Robert Kuttner argues in his new book, Obama’s Challenge. They will require the "next New Deal," according to U.S. Action, a coalition of statewide citizen organizations.

But it’s not just the Democratic left that sees the present through the prism of a New Deal past. According to pollster Anna Greenberg, more voters see the present as a moment comparable to the ’30s than as a time comparable to the ’70s or ’90s. ...

But conventional wisdom, often even among Democrats, denies the possibility of grand government action that makes most people’s lives better. That wisdom, according to Kuttner, says: There’s no money. Government doesn’t work, except to cut taxes. It must bow before private markets.

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