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June 25, 2008

Richard Florida


« The Urbanist Party | Main | Infectious Exuberance »

Robert Reich:

The great pendulum of American economic outrage moves back and forth over time between anger at big government and anger at big business. For almost thirty years, big government has been the target - starting with Ronald Reagan's admonition that government is the problem, not the solution; through Bill Clinton's declaration that the era of big government is over; and George W. Bush's hands-off brand of free market fundamentalism.

I recall sitting in a seminar on globalization at MIT circa 1996 and Ray Vernon basically said: "I've seen it time and time again. Now everyone believes in the "market."  Just wait, the backlash is coming." 

I do think Reich is right in his capsule political history. It's been one big trickle down approach. The right has done what it is more or less supposed to do - make the case for unbridled markets. The great failure of our times is a failure of progressive forces to make a case for a more inclusive, broadly based and inclusive, while market-driven, creative economy.  In its absence, we have seen the rise of social conservatism and populism.

Can new political forces stem the tide?


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