Progressive politics prevail over economic freedom

Although some elections still need to be made, the overall picture is clear. American voters have not clearly disavowed the illiberal, progressive, collectivist policies that have been adopted at the state and national levels since March 2020. While the media is focused on the red ripple, it is important to note that Bidennomics has not been vindicated. The nation remains deeply divided on several major economic, social and economic issues.

Some thirty years ago, Bruce Ackerman, a Yale law professor, argued that what I call the Great New Deal reset had become Constitutional because voters kept Roosevelt and his followers in office over several election cycles in the 1930s. I show in a book in progress that such an idea is deeply flawed because relative popularity in the polls is insufficient to overturn Republican checks and balances.

However, the opposite goes well with the idea of ​​limited government controlled by all founders and founders. When We the People proclaim unsavory policies by exercising our right to speak and vote, policymakers must pay attention, at least if democracy is to retain its essential Lincoln meaning of ruling by, for, and by the people.

Polls indicate that most Americans want little to do with politics that favor the sentiments of favored groups over the sacred rights of individuals. People who feel afraid of the virus can stay at home, but they should never again be allowed to impose restrictions on work, school and travel or impose mask and vaccination on those who believe the virus is less costly than the supposed means of controlling it. People who feel firearms are too dangerous can avoid them, but they should not be allowed to restrict their use by law-abiding citizens who see them as valuable tools.

And Americans generally reject policies that favor equality of outcome over equal opportunity. It is a shame that people live in poverty here and abroad, but that does not mean that the authorities should allow anyone to break US or state laws with impunity. If US immigration and drug laws are too punitive, government officials should change them, not flout them. Legislators, not members of the executive branch, need to do the hard work of reforming a system that does not provide “justice” for criminals or their victims. To amplify the signal sent in the 2021 election in Virginia, most parents believe they should at least be able to veto ideological or sexist “educational” curriculum content.

Americans have also expressed concerns about illiberal attempts to change the American constitutional system. Many understand that mere laws or gimmicks to make Washington, D.C. a state or to end the Electoral College should not be allowed. Mere executive orders should not be enough to redistribute the billions of dollars from people who didn’t attend college, or who have already paid for it, to the alumni who still owe. Operational coal plants and pipelines in progress should not be closed by legal order on the basis of dubious climate-causal claims. Government bureaucrats should not be able to force private companies to restrict speech or engage in other activities that the government itself cannot. Most importantly, Americans know that the law should apply to everyone equally, and that law enforcement agencies should not be armed to protect or punish people based on party affiliation or ideology.

Why the disconnect between those opinions and the election results? Most importantly, Americans may vote for candidates, not policies. Americans who do not trust candidates to deliver on their campaign promises tend not to vote at all. While voter turnout is growing, four out of ten eligible voters have yet to cast a ballot, even in presidential elections. Incumbents tend to win, in part, because they are at least known entities. For some reason, candidates will not credibly commit themselves through an interdependent mechanism to support a set of policies, or to consult with their constituents if a new problem arises, as America’s first elected incumbents did.

Unlike the election of 1800, which repudiated the alien and sedition laws and some other federal policies of questionable constitutionality, the election of 2022 did not explicitly repudiate shutdowns and mandates, the uncritical educational use of critical race theory, the partisan arming of law enforcement, and other progressive attempts illiberalism to radically change America. But it did not live up to its endorsement.

A policy rollback in the next two years seems unlikely, but the pace of policy change and new spending could slow considerably, which should at least help the Fed fight inflation. But America is not yet ready to unleash its full economic potential again by restoring expectations of high levels of economic freedom.

Robert E Wright

Robert E Wright

Robert E. Wright is a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the (co-)author or editor (associate) of more than twenty major books, book series, and edited collections, including AIER The best of Thomas Paine (2021) and financial exclusion (2019). He has also authored numerous articles for important journals, incl American Economic ReviewAnd the Business history reviewAnd the Independent reviewAnd the Special Projects MagazineAnd the Financial reviewAnd the Southern Economic Review. Robert has taught business, economics, and politics courses at Augustana University, NYU’s Stern School of Business, Temple University, the University of Virginia, and elsewhere since earning his Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1997.

Selected publications

  • Reducing recidivism and encouraging distancing: A social entrepreneurship approach Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy (Summer 2022).
  • “The Political Economy of Modern Wildlife Management: How Marketing Can Reduce Game Abundance.” Independent review (Spring 2022).
  • “Sowing the Seeds of a Future Crisis: The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Emergence of the Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) Class, 1971-1975.” Co-author: Andrew Smith. Business history review (Winter 2021).
  • “Adjusting the AI≠UBI Income Portfolio to Technology Transformation.” Co-author: Aleksandra Przegalinska. Frontiers in human dynamics: social networks (2021).
  • Liberty Befits All: Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. ” Independent review (Winter 2020).
  • “Pioneer Financial News National Broadcast Journalist Wilma Seuss, NBC Radio, 1954-1980”. Press history (Fall 2018).
  • “The Mandate of the Republican Model of Anglo-American Corporate Governance.” Advances in financial economics (2015).
  • “The Pivotal Role of Private Enterprise in the Age of Transportation in America, 1790-1860.” Special Projects Magazine (Spring 2014)
  • “Corporate Insurance Companies in Antebellum America.” This article was co-authored by Christopher Kingston. Business history review (Fall 2012).
  • “Deadliest Games: Dueling Foundation.” This article was co-authored by Christopher Kingston. Southern Economic Journal (April 2010).
  • “Alexander Hamilton, Central Banker: Crisis Management During the United States Financial Panic of 1792.” Co-Author: Richard E. Sylla and David J. Cowen. Business history review (Spring 2009).
  • “Integration of the Transatlantic Capital Markets, 1790-1845.” The article was co-authored by Richard Sella and Jack Wilson. Financial review (Dec 2006), 613-44.
  • State “coins” and conversion to US dollars: Clarifying some confusions. Co-author: Ron Michener. American Economic Review (June 2005).
  • “IPO Market Reform in the United States: Lessons from History and Theory,” Accounting, business and financial history (November 2002).
  • “Bank Ownership and Lending Patterns in New York and Pennsylvania, 1781-1831.” Business history review (Spring 1999).

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