Obama blogs so I don’t have to

Alright, he doesn’t actually blog, it was a speech, but it’s well worth quoting here (even though, I rarely do so).  Here’s Obama (via Chait):

But I also understand that throughout our nation’s history, we have balanced the threat of overreaching government against the dangers of an unfettered market.  We’ve provided a basic safety net, because any one of us might experience hardship at some time in our lives and may need some help getting back on our feet.  And we’ve recognized that there have been times when only government has been able to do what individuals couldn’t do and corporations wouldn’t do.

That’s how we have railroads and highways, public schools and police forces.  That’s how we’ve made possible scientific research that has led to medical breakthroughs like the vaccine for Hepatitis B, and technological wonders like GPS.  That’s how we have Social Security and a minimum wage, and laws to protect the food we eat and the water we drink and the air that we breathe.  That’s how we have rules to ensure that mines are safe and, yes, that oil companies pay for the spills that they cause.

Now, there have always been those who’ve said no to such protections; no to such investments.  There were accusations that Social Security would lead to socialism, and that Medicare was a government takeover.  There were bankers who claimed the creation of federal deposit insurance would destroy the industry.  And there were automakers who argued that installing seatbelts was unnecessary and unaffordable.  There were skeptics who thought that cleaning our water and our air would bankrupt our entire economy.  And all of these claims proved false. All of these reforms led to greater security and greater prosperity for our people and our economy. [emphasis Chait’s]

So what was true then is true today.

I really like this line of argument.  I’d love to see more Democrats make this argument more forcefully more of the time.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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