Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another comment on another Kling post

The post is here. I commented (with a typo :-( )

I'm sure there are many reasonable small government types among them, but, as inquiring minds notes, nost of them seem to be driven by nationalism and other not very (classically) liberal sentiments.

I think Arnold wants to believe in the possibility of a populist libertarian movement, one that jives with his notion of the elites and progressives versus the common man, but I don't think that's really tenable. We have big government because that's what almost everyone wants. Many say they want small government but want to keep Soc Sec, medicare, and a massive military. Most probably favor the pork projects in their particular area, and one can see what that adds up to. Concentrated benefits, diffuse costs...

There won't be smaller government until the situation gets tangibly more dire or until the basic logic of politics changes, or more people become principled libertarians. I'm not holding my breath for the last two.

I don't understand Kling's attraction to the tea partiers. What are we going to get out of them? A Sarah Palin presidential nomination? Roll back Obama care but boost the military budget some more and spend billions on "securing the border"? I'm probably painting with too broad a brush here, but I do think that's more or less what we can expect.

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