America 3.0: The mess we’re in is a long-festering bipartisan matter

From America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century, —Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, the book under discussion April 9 at the library:

It is important to realize that the [recent] global financial crisis . . . has deep roots reaching back many decades, and that all was not wonderful with the United States through either the second Bush or Clinton administrations, despite the partisan claims of various flavors.

Hey, say the Bush and Clinton-lovers, cut that out!

The institutions of America 2.0 had been growing increasingly unworkable over previous decades, and it was only by a combination of the deep reserve strengths of America (the culture, not the government) and a series of one-time tricks pulled by various administrations that had allowed prosperity to continue, at least in fits and starts.

Izzat so? cry GW and Bubba supporters, equally offended.

The institutions of America 2.0 . . . emerged in response to a series of real problems, and for the most part managed to fix or at least alleviate those problems. Yet in solving them, they created new ones, in many cases problems that would not show themselves fully for decades, often under conditions never anticipated during the Progressive era.

The Progressives and New Dealers believed that business was consolidating itself into fewer and fewer large corporations, who among themselves would plan the future of technology and lead the economy permanently. So long as this corporate structure could be regulated and steered by the government, and so long as the individual workers could be given security and stability through membership in government-approved labor unions, this was all fine with Progressives.

What were they thinking?

They believed this was the natural direction of social evolution, and that the main problems they faced were those of stabilizing this economy and making it fairer.

You don’t think so? Come and argue with America 3.0 co-author, Oak Parker Michael Lotus at the library April 9, 7 p.m. He’ll be delighted.

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