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View Diary: Why do conservatives hate Keynes (55 comments)

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  •  Another reason they hate Keynes (0+ / 0-)

    Jonathan Chait explains it admirably here.

    Here's my too-short summary:

    People tend to think of liberal and conservative philosophies as mirror images. But they're not. The big difference: conservatives have a fundamental, unshakeable belief that smaller government is the ultimate ideal in and of itself. All of their economic reasoning flows backward from this goal. Facts are ignored or explained away if they don't fit the narrative.

    By contrast, liberals don't have a similar goal of bigger government for its own sake. It's only a means to the desired end of improving people's lives. They're willing to look at the evidence, to experiment, to try things and, if they don't work, change them. As Chait says, "Contemporary economic liberalism is less of an ideology than the absence of one."

    Chait gives a beautiful example of how this applies to the health care debate. Conservatives chant endlessly that the U.S. has the best health care system in the world. By any objective criteria, this is completely absurd:

    The only way to deem the U.S. system the "best" is if you substitute ideological criteria for pragmatic criteria. Our health care system is indeed the best at minimizing the role of government. France, on the other hand, produces better measurable health outcomes at a vastly lower cost. Yet conservatives would consider the notion that France has a better health care system than the United States to be self-evidently false.
    But, you know, facts have a liberal bias.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Sun May 12, 2013 at 08:20:19 AM PDT

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