hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002
I basically agree with your comments that Democrats
can only envy Blair, but in one respect I think they
can, or at least could've. I was struck how Blair kept
urging the electorate to reject Hague in order to
douse the last embers of Thatcherism. He did it so
much I felt a bit put off by his beating up on an old

I wonder if Gore could have done the same thing, i.e.
portraying Bush as a warmed over Ronald Reagan pushing
the same big tax cut that didn't work twenty years
ago, i.e.:

*America*, don't let them do this to you again*.

During the time the Republicans were in power, from
1980-1992, middle class take home pay went up [insert
figure]. Earnings for the wealthy went up[insert
figure] Under Reaganomics, the rich got richer and the
middle class got screwed.

Under new Democrat policies, the poor have done
better, the middle class has done better, and rich
have, you know, gone into the stratosphere.

There was a business cycle recovery during the 80's
too, but over the long term, from 1980-1992,
Reaganomics was not good for working people. The
question of this election is, are we going to continue
to push for broad-based growth that benefits all
people, from the lowest to the highest, or are we
going to go back to the failed politics of the past,
where the wealthy rigged the system for their benefit.

*America, don't let them do this to you again*

(excerpt of an email I sent the Gore campaign. sigh)

Anyway, I was reading this

excellent explanation of the health-care debacle in
93-94, which among other things, showed what a jerk
Ira Magaziner was. The conventional wisdom is that
Magaziner has redeemed himself by chairing some
Internet commission, where he basically endorsed
standard free-market bromides and did everything that
Republican Tom Davis asked him too. If it turns out
that the work of the commission is flawed in some way
because of its uncritical endorsement of free markets,
then I think a pretty good article could be written
skewering Magaziner's arrogance-turned-cowardice and
the conventional wisdom which is willing to vouch for
anyone who praises free markets and deregulation