Michael Lind, the Policy Director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, a liberal think tank, is also one of my favorite columnists at Salon.com. He is a New Deal economist and believes, as I do, that the mainstay of the economic engine that drives nations is stability and longterm growth, maintained by economic signals like rigorous regulation.
Anyway, he has an interesting post today on Salon.com, which I do not entirely agree with, something which is unusual for me when reading his work. His new manifesto, in the last paragraph:
"Here’s an idea. America needs to have a neomodernist party to oppose the reigning primitivists of the right, left and center. Let everyone who opposes abortion, wants to ban GM foods and nuclear energy, hates cars and trucks and planes and loves trains and trolleys, seeks to ban suburbia, despises consumerism, and/or thinks Darwin was a fraud join the Regressive Party."
He actually spends a fair amount of time pointing out that the Left has been engaged in its own romantic primitivism:
"The increasingly reactionary American left, disenchanted with nuclear power plants and rockets and suburbs, longed to quit modernity and retire to a small town with an organic farmers’ market and an oompah band playing in the town park’s bandstand."
I was thinking the other day about how I was raised. And I was raised to receive gifts once or twice a year, not year round. The only real treats in life were sugar (which was a bad habit admittedly) but at least the containers were cardboard and the product disolves in water. And, I was thinking how commendable that was. I'm terrible. In my monthly accounting I keep a running list of how much I spend on myself every month on "pleasant" items. Some of these expendistures were necessary, and you can see that 'Pleasantries' always spike in December, but why so high? The fact of the matter is that we consume much more than is necessary, and its not regressive to suggest that, though it is, interestingly, the essential meaning of conservative.