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Blame the neocons

We keep working more, for less.


For too long now, we've mistakenly placed our faith in the policies and the vision of neoconservatism: "... it was not the particularities of tax cuts that interested them, but rather the steady focus on economic growth."

It's time to put a hand on their collective shoulder, thank them for their efforts, and lead them off the bridge. Back from the helm. Out of the cockpit.


The neoconservatism link just isn't working for me.

We've been raised to expect a certain lifestyle from day one. We've been taught to go to school because as soon as we get out, we'll be able to move directly into a certain kind of lifestyle, based on our schooling choices. We take out mortgages on houses, we buy furniture, toys and food on credit cards, we take out loans for cars, trucks, boats, etc. Essentially, we've been taught it's our natural human right to buy whatever we want as long as we can make the payments. We've been taught that it's normal and expected to live the rest of our lives in debt.

I call it voluntary indentured servitude. But that's just me.

True to what many of us have come to expect, we are provided with no analysis as to why neoconservatism (which is first and foremost defined in terms of foreign policy) has anything to do with the comment.

To say that "we've mistakenly placed our faith in the policies and the vision of neoconservatism" is a glaring example of bad argumentation by implication.

Read the articles you link to, buddy. The number of hours worked went up during Clinton's administration. Maybe he was a "neocon," too.

Let's help our little blogger get "neocon" right next time: http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/neocon101.html

Actually, I'd consider putting Clinton right next door to neo-conservative.

The thing is, I think Carey assumes that he doesn't need to spell out the details of neo-conservatism in every post, since it's basically all his blog is about. Admittedly, I think in this one he's blurring the line between neo-conservatives and people who think that Economics Solve Everything. But basically, he's bitching about the Invisible Hand Laissez Faire thing here as much as anything else.

And by the way, HI MOBIUS!!!

Is this the Heidi 007 Heidi?

Yup. Nevermind. I saw the link on your name.

In any case, if he wants to bitch about neoconservatives, fine. He should be bitching about Iraq or something along those lines. But the increased hours phenomenon is not a result of political ideology. It's a function of public preferences and corporate preferences.

Sorry for the bad link. It should be fixed now.

Neoconservatives are getting a lot of attention right now because of their foreign policy positions, but as Irving Kristol points out in the (now fixed) link, the idea of "economic growth" is very important for neoconservative thought.

Ideology and preferences are not separable. The greatest evidence of the success of neoconservative ideology (and economic laissez-faire ideology more broadly) is that many people believe that a greater amount of money always results in a greater amount of happiness.

This, on the individual level, is what Kristol is saying on the collective level: provide economic growth (more money) and people will be less likely to gripe:

"...as a consequence of the spread of affluence among all classes, a property-owning and tax-paying population will, in time, become less vulnerable to egalitarian illusions and demagogic appeals and more sensible about the fundamentals of economic reckoning."

It is exactly this neoconservative obsession with economic growth that leads them to defend budget deficits nationally and credit-card debt individually. "We've been taught that it's normal and expected to live the rest of our lives in debt." Consumerism certainly isn't limited to neocons, but the neocons have been perhaps the most effective promoters of this empty creed both domestically and internationally.

btw, HI MOBIUS!!

... is not a result of political ideology. It's a function of public preferences and corporate preferences.

What other Heidi is there except the wonderful marvelous Heidi?

(I know, I know ... give me the google results).

I hate this sanitizing shit. It's like those people that say you can't argue with maximizing a function. The preferences you espouse are all implicitly dependent on the external constraints, which are politically determined.

I'm just fascinated with the constant need to put a label on everything and then endlessly define the label.

Politically I'm sure it's vital. Sociologically it's just funny.

Here's the point: you can't demonstrate any sort of unique, or even strong, connection between neoconservatism and long hours and bankruptcy.

Dude, your argument is just plain bad. I suggest you read your links if you intend to offer them as evidence of a position.

The first one doesn't even suggest how neoconservatism caused people to work long hours. The second one specifically says "Instead, Warren points the finger at two concepts dear to the hearts of almost all Americans: safety and education." Maybe public safety and education are the devilish offspring of the perfidious neoconservative mind, but I suspect otherwise. What do you think?

I think you should give up your reflexive need to blame all ills on neoconservatism and take a more realistic view of the world. Neocons aren't the root of all evil. They aren't the Illuminati. And they aren't hiding under your bed. Once you come to accept that, maybe you'll come up with a more reasonable explanation for some of the problems you see in the world.

"Neocons aren't the root of all evil."

Sure they are.

"They aren't the Illuminati."

Perhaps not, but I'd bet they both wear the same brand of underwear.

"And they aren't hiding under your bed."

Uhhh...if they aren't then what the hell IS that thing???

Reasonable is entirely in the eye of the beholder. I love when people judge an argument as invalid because they can't see the connection(s) regardless of whether they may or may not be spelled out in sufficient detail. Wouldn't initially asking for further clarification be the prudent course?

At any rate, don't most people in our peculiar little society, neocon or otherwise, have a knee-jerk belief that, as Heidi puts it, "Economics Solve Everything"?