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Oct 20, 2008

McCain: Obama's a socialist!

The rhetorical vitriol out of the McCain camp is completely insane. Both party leaderships supported the recent socialist bailout of major banks.

If the contrast is with completely free markets, both major parties of the United States have, without fail, been promoting "socialist" policies since the founding of the country (before the term was even around!). If the contrast is with at least marginally laissez faire policy, then it's pretty hard to argue we've seen that in the last 60-80 years, depending on how you're looking at it. So I really wish these guys would give it a rest.

Every wealthy modern state is a modern welfare state, a socialist democracy. And every wealthy modern state also allows the markets to operate in a very wide range, with great latitude on free trade and pricing.

Unless you're quite principled about the economic matters and count yourself as a Libertarian or Anarchist, I think the only questions are really (1) what policies are desirable and sustainable (2) who do they help and to what degree, and (3) are the policies encouraging the behavior we'd like to see.

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