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Rising Boats?


Questioner: Frequently, when conservatives respond to allegations of inequality in capitalism, they say that “The boats are all rising, who cares if the tide carries some higher?” That is, if growth is occurring at some rate, capitalism’s good. What is your reaction to this…

It’s a fine argument for Stalinism and Nazism. Russia had quite a substantial growth rate until the 1960s — that caused great concern among US and British leaders. Same with Eastern Europe on Kremlin Rule. And pretty egalitarian, by the standards of the US and its satellites.

Hitler’s enormous popularity was based in no small part on the economic progress in Germany.

In the US, there was high and egalitarian growth from World War II to the mid-1970s, when the “neoliberal” reforms (absurdly called “globalization”) were introduced. Since then growth and other relevant economic indices have deteriorated, and for about 90% of the population, real incomes have stagnated or declined, along with benefits, while for the ultrarich they have skyrocketed, particularly under Bush.

In other words, there’s nothing to respond to. It’s hogwash, and these people should not be permitted to defame the honorable term “conservative.” There are scarcely any genuine conservatives in the public arena, political or other.

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