We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...another ascendant group (is) the Clerisy, which is based in academia (where there are now many more administrators and staffers than full-time instructors), media, the nonprofit sector, and, especially, government: Since 1945, government employment has grown more than twice as fast as America’s population. The Founders worried about government being captured by factions; they did not foresee government becoming society’s most rapacious and overbearing faction.
The Clerisy is, Kotkin says, increasingly uniform in its views, and its power stems from “persuading, instructing and regulating the rest of society.” The Clerisy supplies the administrators of progressivism’s administrative state, the regulators of the majority that needs to be benevolently regulated toward progress.
In other words, the future belongs to those who can convince the people who are paying very little in taxes - or even receiving subsidies - that they must stop relying on the munificence (or naivete) of the wealthy who are paying the lion share of taxes and pay more or start paying taxes. All this while the young will likely (hopefully) wake up to the fact that they are getting screwed since they not only have to pay for the Social Security of those who are retired, most of the subsidies for those who have no interest in working, and begin to pay off the unsustainable debt we've racked up.
No matter what happens, it will be huge. Government spending and programs will cause us to live in China's curse to live in 'interesting times'.
I believe Will is right, but mudbug raises the key point. There are the '47%' plus the bureaucracy, media, academia, and most importantly, our ruling masters, that are either content with the status quo or are still pulling us in the wrong direction. They pose a mighty obstacle.
So who will lead the nation into economic recovery and growth? Surely not the people that are in power now.
"Clerisy" is a good descriptor. I've been describing them as a combination of the Arts & Humanities Tribe plus the Government and Unions Tribe, but I think that is 20 years dated. This is better.
Assistant Village Idiot
Who among contemporary thinkers (Right, Left, or Whatever) has confronted the Information Revolution or factored in the REAL ECONOMIC GAME CHANGERS: instant global communication, commercial monopolies, digital automation, computing(especially the implications of MEGA data bases), greater interdependence than ever before, the accelerated churn in innovation and the life cycle of businesses and careers, globalization and the HUGE assymetry in knowledge and power between the regular folks and the Mandarin class (meritocracy). No one that I know of, though commentators like Walter Russell Mead have done a good job of chronicling the decline of the “Old Blue Model”, not so much about what will take its place. You can’t even have a conversation about the implications of it without being accused of being a Luddite.
Consider, for a second, the accelerated churn in innovation and the life cycle of businesses and careers. The shorter ACCELERATED life cycle of “careers” and businesses is very destabilizing. I don’t know if the Information Revolution is the Industrial Revolution on steroids or if ultimately we will determine that there is a qualitative difference between the Information and the Industrial Revolutions.
I am not convinced that the thinkers who wrote for the Industrial Revolution have that many insights applicable to the Information Revolution, which they could not have imagined. I am not aware of any politician that seems to grasp the implications of the innovation and engineering advances that have emerged. How does the increasingly rapid turn over of innovation, jobs, businesses affect the middle class, how does it effect investment? I don’t see how these technologies don’t lead to greater concentration of power politically and economically, and greater intrusiveness, not just by government but by both the private and public sector. I would like to believe that there are natural organic restraints, but I don’t see them.