Thursday, September 9, 2010

Long-Term Or Stability

Withywindle has, on several occasions, argued that perhaps an eye toward stability rather than the long-term best describes how conservatives analyze the world. For some reason, which FLG couldn't put his finger on, he was uncomfortable with this.

Today, he realized why. If one looks at the social aspects, then it does make sense. Conservatives value stability and liberals progress. But if one looks at economic policies, then the roles are reversed. The overarching goal of liberal economic policies is to tame the vicissitudes of economic and financial life. Conservatives are very comfortable with economic unpredictability.

Look, for example, at social security. Liberals argue that government provides a guarantee. Certainty. Stability. Conservatives want private accounts, which are anything but stable.


Robbo said...

Yes, but conservatives don't want private accounts because of instability. Indeed, I think the average conservative would be perfectly happy with a private account that reliably, steadily, dependantly yielded X percent per annum.

No, I think many conservatives favor private accounts because they simply don't believe the liberal promises of the stability gummint-run social security will provide. They see the system as shaky, nearly bankrupt and likely to implode in the next few years.

Withywindle said...

I've sent you some general thoughts on economic stability off-list. For the particular issue of privatizing social security, I came to the conclusion several years ago that on balance it was a bad idea; and I suppose "destabilizing" is a good brief way of saying why.

I will add that if Bush had successfully privatized social security in 2005, the market plummet in 2008 would have kept the Republicans out of power for a generation, even with the idiocies of Obama et al.

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