Thursday, June 15, 2017

James Kwak — The Importance of Fairness: A New Economic Vision for the Democratic Party


A lot has been written recently about the direction of the Democratic Party. This is what I think.…
The Democratic Party was once the party of working people. So why is it increasingly becoming the party of well-educated, socially tolerant, cosmopolitan city-dwellers? Because, in an age of stagnant median incomes and a disintegrating social safety net, Democrats have no economic message for the many people who are struggling to make ends meet, to pay for college, to stay in a home, or to save for retirement.

This impotence is the product of sweeping changes in the intellectual and political landscape of the United States.
Good diagnosis and prescription.

One of the central themes of my book is that economism [market state] is an ideological worldview: a lens through which we see the world, which affects the way we interpret reality and serves the interests of certain groups. Logically, it can only be overthrown by another worldview. And so the book ends this way:
“Millions if not billions of people today hunger to live in a world that is more fair, more forgiving, and more humane than the one that we were born into. Creating a new vision of society worthy of that collective yearning—one that goes beyond the false promises of economism—is the first step toward building a better future for our children. That is the story that remains to be written.”
What the Democratic Party needs is an economic message that: addresses the real problems that many Americans face on a daily basis (instead of callously insisting that “America is already great”); and resonates with their very real frustrations and anxieties. Both politically and as policy, the idea that the rising tide of economic efficiency and growth would lift all boats has failed. It is time for something new.
Baseline Scenario
The Importance of Fairness: A New Economic Vision for the Democratic Party
James Kwak | Associate Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law

1 comment:

Bob said...

The Dems have rabies and it's too late for a prescription. Time for a new party.