Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Conservative Nanny State

The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer

The full text of Dean Baker's book. Not aimed at libertarians, but points out many things libertarians are confused about and ought to oppose by both libertarian and progressive standards.


Jeremy said...

Great call. As a left libertarian, I really enjoyed passing this book around to my big-business-ueber-alles libertarian friends. His point about reframing the debate is well taken. Even for progressives who want to see a bigger role for the government, it does no good to allow conservatives to portray themselves as small government simply because their positive policy preferences fly below the radar.

And in many cases, I'd prefer progressive big government to conservative big government. For instance, I'll take single payer health care over the current corporatist system we have - at least, if those are my only two options. We need to start challenging those who frame the debate as status quo left vs. status quo right, and kudos to you for prompting libertarians to do this (as you prompted me in an email conversation some eight years ago!)

- Jeremy (

Markus said...

Good to see that you're still on the case Mike - you were a bit quiet for a while there!

This post reminds me of the book "Pigs at the Trough" by Arianna Huffington, which also showed how corporations snuffle up billions of dollars of taxpayers' money every year. Wal-Mart, the Welfare Queen.

To Jeremy: as an Australian, I'm horrified that the U.S. Government will spend trillions of dollars on a senseless war in Iraq, but insists that it can't afford to provide Medicare to its own citizens.

And for any right-wing libertarians reading, here's a graph which should stop your whining about how high taxes are reducing incentives for the oppressed businessman: