Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm going to get into this more over the next few weeks. But one of the main realizations I had while living in Europe is that economic growth is a principal moral good, and that consequently any liberal platform needs to have at its core policies which foster economic growth. If liberals fail to realize this, then they are ceding a cardinal moral ground to conservatives.

To illustrate this, just look at what's happening today in Germany. According to Deutsche-Welle,
Loud are the cries that youngsters up and down the country are displaying signs of the very conservative values their emancipated parents educated them against. Trend researcher and analyst Roman Retzbach said there is every reason to suggest that Germany is rekindling its relationship with the bourgeoisie...

"What we see now has a lot to do with German unification. The current economic crisis has pushed interest in individual circumstances to the foreground," Boehnke said. "It is easier to be generous about the world and society when everyone is doing well than when people are struggling."
As the passage shows, if liberalism is grounded only in social rights and foreign aid, then its fortunes will be contingent on those of the economy. By contrast, liberalism needs to have pro-growth policies which drive the economy rather than follow it, so that its economic success will grant it both the practical and moral authority to implement and secure its social platform.

I'll articulate how that's feasible a little later. But since many liberals see pro-business policies as utterly anathema to a liberal agenda, for now I just wanted to get the idea that economic growth is a paramount moral good out there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

economic growth is a paramount moral good

Right. How could we all miss the obvious. And of course economic growth in 1930's Germany was paramount to the moral good of the time.

2:27 PM  

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