The United Banana Republic

Krugman:

The antigovernment campaign has always been phrased in terms of opposition to waste and fraud — to checks sent to welfare queens driving Cadillacs, to vast armies of bureaucrats uselessly pushing paper around. But those were myths, of course; there was never remotely as much waste and fraud as the right claimed. And now that the campaign has reached fruition, we’re seeing what was actually in the firing line: services that everyone except the very rich need, services that government must provide or nobody will, like lighted streets, drivable roads and decent schooling for the public as a whole.

This is the end result of 30+ years of conservatives saying that government can’t ever do anything right. Even the majority of liberals believe this now. It’s not true; government has many obstacles to dodge before being the most efficient mover but it’s often the only mover due to lack of profit incentive. Government might not be the best solution to many of a society’s needs but it’s often the only solution.

I remember electricity in the Dominican Republic being turned off regularly for long periods of time in order to save money and resources. It’s still happening, I’m sure, since the economy and infrastructure has worsened due to the horrible trade problems DR has been facing for the past decade and a half. This is where we’re headed–and California was already there at one point.

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