Do you know of any place you can go to find a rational, well-thought out economic argument for liberalism? I can’t. And that’s really strange considering the degree to which this political philosophy dominates our culture.
By the term “liberalism” I mean the intellectual effort to apologize for and defend economic programs primarily associated with Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. There are four main ones:
- The substitution of regulation for markets,
- The substitution of social insurance for private provision,
- The nationalization of welfare, and
- The manipulation of the economy by the government.
It is difficult to exaggerate how completely this intellectual movement dominated thinking in the post-World War II period. During the 1950s and 1960s there was virtually no book, no journal, and no college campus where you could find a serious competing point of view.