real culture - April 30, 2009 OPINION The Real Culture War...

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April 30, 2009 OPINION The Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism Tea parties, 'ethical populism,' and the moral case against redistribution. By ARTHUR C. BROOKS Thursday, April 30, 2009; Page A15 There is a major cultural schism developing in America. But it's not over abortion, same-sex marriage or home schooling, as important as these issues are. The new divide centers on free enterprise -- the principle at the core of American culture. Despite President Barack Obama's early personal popularity, we can see the beginnings of this schism in the "tea parties" that have sprung up around the country. In these grass-roots protests, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans have joined together to make public their opposition to government deficits, unaccountable bureaucratic power, and a sense that the government is too willing to prop up those who engaged in corporate malfeasance and mortgage fraud. The data support the protesters' concerns. In a publication with the ironic title, "A New Era of Responsibility," the president's budget office reveals average deficits of 4.7% in the five years after this recession is over. The Congressional Budget Office predicts $9.3 trillion in new debt over the coming decade. And what investments justify our leaving this gargantuan bill for our children and grandchildren to pay? Absurdities, in the view of many -- from bailing out General Motors and the United Auto Workers to building an environmentally friendly Frisbee golf course in Austin, Texas. On behalf of corporate welfare, political largess and powerful special interests, government spending will grow continuously in the coming years as a percentage of the economy -- as will tax collections. Still, the tea parties are not based on the cold wonkery of budget data. They are based on an "ethical populism."
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2011 for the course AGEC 217 taught by Professor Deboer during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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real culture - April 30, 2009 OPINION The Real Culture War...

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