February 5, 2015

Defining Economic Failure Down

George Will: “Barack Obama’s plan to tax the earnings from parents’ ‘529’ college savings plans lived just long enough to indicate why some progressives perhaps prefer slow rather than rapid economic growth. Rapid growth reduces the appeal of redistributive policies and the need for the bitter, jostling, divisive politics that advance such policies. The 529s help enable families to achieve self-sufficiency. This excites progressives’ dislike of any private provision that impedes implementation of their dependency agenda. The progressive project of maximizing the number of people dependent on government is also aided by the acid of insecurity that grows rapidly when the economy does not. Anxious and disappointed people are susceptible to progressives’ blandishments about the political allocation of wealth and opportunity – ‘free’ this and that. By making slow growth normal, iatrogenic government serves the progressive program of defining economic failure down.”

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