Saturday, September 10, 2011

Berlusconi and co.

Some Italian friends have been looking forward eagerly to the disappearance of Berlusconi from office in their country (may that event come soon!). However, I sense a dawning realization in the Peninsula that that will not be the end of their problems. Italy's difficulties are structural, and will persist.

We see something like this personalist approach in liberal tut-tutting about the Republican crazies--Bachmann, Perry, and the rest. To be sure, they could not go soon enough. One day they will though, but that will not signal a new Golden Age for liberalism in this country. Boiler-plate talk aside, the success of modern liberalism depends on liberality--on distributing benefits to union members, minorities, and others who make up the Democratic Party's base. Even if the wealth of the rich were confiscated (which is not likely to happen), the cupboard would soon be bare.

As with Italy our problems are not a matter of personalities; after all they come and go. Our problems are structural. All those jobs that went to Asia are not going back.

Cam we expect truth-telling about this situation? Yes--as soon as pigs learn to fly.

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