At some point, freedom must be tempered if its impact undermines the very social contract that allows it to exist.
The inequality we are experiencing as a function of globalization, technology, recession and a tax system so complex it beggars understanding is a real and direct threat to our social coherence and stability as a democratic society. It seems to me conservatives should be among the first to recognize this danger – as Bismarck and Disraeli once did – and forge a public policy to counter it.
This conservatism would embrace universal healthcare as a bulwark of democratic legitimacy in an age of such extremes; it should break up the banks and bring back Glass-Steagall; it should drastically simplify the tax code, ridding it of special interest deductions; it should construct an international agreement to prevent the egregious and disgusting tax avoidance of a company like Apple; and it should seek to invest and innovate in education and infrastructure.
Some of this inequality cannot be stopped, the globalizing forces behind it are so strong. But mitigating its damage is a real challenge. And conservatives who believe that we are one nation should rise to it.
- Andrew Sullivan, The Dish.