Yesterday’s semi-official launch of the Green New Deal has done a big favor for our national political debate: It has finally put squarely on the table the fundamental question that needs to be addressed, yet never is addressed, namely, what is the limiting principle of the progressive project? Or really, is there any limiting principle at all? Let me illustrate.
Always (or at least, always before now) the progressive proposals to make the world perfectly just and fair have been presented one by one. Wouldn’t the world be so much more fair if we only had free (government paid) college for all? Many people look at such a proposal and think, sure, that would make things a little more fair; I guess I could get on board with it. Then, wouldn’t the world be so much more fair if we had universal (government paid) health care for all. In isolation, same reaction. Separately, wouldn’t it be great to “save the planet” by getting carbon emissions under control (by some form of government subsidy and/or command)? Addressed separately, and with no context of what other proposals may be coming, many people find themselves nodding along. With your attention diverted from the big picture, any of these proposals might get your support. . . .Read More