economic paradigm shift
The truth of the matter is that sometime in the last 50 years, there has been a significant change in the way that the economy functions. While more people are better off than before, economic risk has shifted from corporations to people. It is, I believe, a fundamental difference between the ways that conservatives and liberals think - conservatives view small government as an end in and of itself, regardless of who or what it actually impacts, while liberals are not opposed to small government, but instead feel that government, as a whole, has a responsibility to its citizens. I got into an interesting discussion yesterday with a person here at work about Social Security and privatization, but I think that the underlying schism was exactly this - I believe that the government (society) has a responsibility to try to assist those who stumble. I also believe that the average person isn't capable of planning for the long term future, especially not when the insurance and medical industries are set up the way they are here in America. Peter Gosselin of the Los Angeles Times has written several interesting articles dealing with the shift in economic risk. Three of the articles fall in a set that they have entitled The New Deal (cleverly co-opting FDR's name for his programs) and another one was published today dealing with the new bankruptcy bill that looks like it might actually get pushed through the Senate. It's a little depressing, watching the right dismantle America.