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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The problem with Bayh


It's not that he's wrong on the facts, but that his prescription, mere "triangulation", is dead wrong.

The hope of any political party is to convince people of your ideas, to create an environment in which they flourish, no? It's to do transformative politics, to use public diplomacy to change the terms of the debate, how things are understood and perceived.

Accordingly, rushing to "Republican lite" is not a long-term viable option for progressives.

The conventional wisdom is that everyone thinks that the way to "run an economy" is to become "business friendly", whatever that means.

But, if you sacrifice "worker friendly", then why shouldn't your workers just move to a nation that is friendly to them?

Indeed, "free trade" and "business friendly" are policies that somewhat chauvinistically assume that mobility of labor is not a decision factor.

And, of course, it may not be in to whatever degree in practice, but it could be on paper, if you catch my drift (remember how much flak Maggie Thatcher took for "let them move house!").