I agree with Yuval Levin, from his EconTalk podcast, about a simple point and an important fact:
I think Conservatives today don’t often enough make the simple point: that, when it comes to economics the market system that we are advocating has been the best thing that has ever happened to the poor in human history. And has dramatically reduced extreme poverty around the world and is still doing it right now; has been the way in which the needy and the vulnerable have been lifted up. It’s worked far better than anything else we’ve every tried, far better than anything the Left has tried to do economically. And that should matter. That’s a very important fact.
I hear this point made on occasion in left/right debates by the right. I find it interesting at how quickly it gets swept under the rug by the left. It’s usually with a red herring like, “but capitalism has its problems, too.” What I find interesting is how uninterested the left is in examining this important fact.
It goes back to the Levin quote in the previous post, “…the left takes for granted a thriving economy that just comes in the background…”
This very important fact, in fact, was key in dislodging my liberal thinking. Before it was pointed out to me, I too, took the thriving economy for granted.
But, when it was pointed out to me, it was eye opening. Rather than sweeping it under the rug, I went silent and thought, if that’s right, how could I be against it? Isn’t it achieving the very thing that I say I want?
Levin went on to say:
Beyond that, the kind of society we are arguing for is a society that for very solid reasons we believe is grounded in a way of life that helps advance the moral good. A way of life that helps people build the sort of lives they want. That makes government more effective at solving problems that people confront. That gives people the room to build the lives they want and protects them from the worst risks that they might confront in modern life, rather than a society that says: This is the way, and you have to do it. Which, again and again, this is how the Left approaches the life of our society: centralize, consolidate, exercise authority to push people into the right grooves.
I couldn’t help to think of this quote when I read this Wall Street Journal op-ed on the politics around the federal nutrition standards for school cafeterias.
The nutrition mandates from 2010 First Lady bill centralizes nutritional choices for school lunches to “push people into the right grooves.”