The usual from Thomas Friedman. Laments about Arab refusal to embrace Israel, the occupation, etc. and Ross Douthat trying to explain that despite the silliness on the right, they're basically right. The "modern welfare state" is the real problem, not the cost-cutting, job-cutting, wage-cutting private enterprises the right celebrates as the engine of growth. - GWC
Status quo Sunday at the New York Times | xpostfactoid: by Andrew Sprung
But succeed or fail, the ACA's the has nothing to do with the inherent viability of the welfare state. After all, every other wealthy country in the world has managed to deliver universal health insurance without constitutional crisis. Failure, if it occurs, will be a failure of democracy in America, bred of multiple complex causes: our undemocratic Constitution, which disproportionately empowers conservative regions; the rising power of elites, further empowered by the removal of campaign finance constraints; economic stress, triggered in large part by elites' deregulatory agenda; and a debased, Murdoch-ized mass media.
Distrust of a modernized safety net is part of American culture, no doubt. But that distrust is both cause and effect of our political system and is not a universal condition.
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