Friday, January 28, 2005

Unbelievable Models

Daniel Gross has an article in Slate on the GOP's opposition to Social Security couched in historic terms - their loss in the national debate over which economic model works best for America back in the Great Depression (caused after the GOP-lead Roaring Twenties). But Gross really focuses on the theoretical mite under the skin of the conservative set - when you won't believe the facts presented to you, believe the hyped-up models:

For 70 years, conservatives have been telling us that the American economy—whether it's in recession or whether it's booming—is laboring under the shackles of the burdensome taxation and misguided regulation placed upon it by FDR and his successors. Somehow, stocks would do better if the SEC were weaker and we'd all be wealthier if seniors weren't guaranteed a minimum income, funded through payroll taxes. But America's economic mastery since 1945 has served as an ongoing and constant refutation of their most dearly held beliefs. It still does today. As George Melloan concedes, "The New Deal basically expanded the reach of government, and things worked out OK." Actually, they worked out great. Some people still can't get over it.

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