Socially Liberal, Fiscally Liberal
Abraham Lincoln famously wrote, in a moment of great moral fortitude, that by “giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve.”
I wasn’t all that disheartened a week ago Tuesday when I learned that Charlie D. Baker ’79 had won reelection as Governor of Massachusetts.
It was strange watching a Republican president criticize the Federal Reserve for its latest interest rate hike (the Board of Governors voted to raise the rate by a quarter-percent to 2.25). Gone were the days of a laissez-faire GOP lauding small government and market efficiency (though I already suspected this). The thought that government might exit the money market was now a “crazy” idea — a “mistake.”
By socialism, I mean government intervention on a small scale. Think Alaska’s Permanent Fund, which draws revenues from oil companies to distribute an annual monetary stipend to state residents. That model is overwhelmingly supported by Alaskans and has shown sustainable growth over its five-decade lifespan (in addition to spillover economic benefits). It’s also smarter than the average wealth transfer, taking into account fund size, growth, and government spending needs in its calculation of dividend amount. If this is socialism, it’s socialism with an economic conscience.
Amlo’s politics, called “Cardenismo,” are based on the legacy of Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico’s president during the Great Depression. He championed a government-led recovery built on public works projects and intervention in key industries. He fostered the young Confederation of Mexican Workers, still the country’s largest union (with over 11,000 chapters). He drafted women’s suffrage legislation, though it would take 16 years to become law.