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Friday, August 13, 2004

Krugman on Bush's true goal for society...

"A new Bush campaign ad pushes the theme of an "ownership society," and concludes with President Bush declaring, "I understand if you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of America."

Call me naïve, but I thought all Americans have a vital stake in the nation's future, regardless of how much property they own. (Should we go back to the days when states, arguing that only men of sufficient substance could be trusted, imposed property qualifications for voting?) Even if Mr. Bush is talking only about the economic future, don't workers have as much stake as property owners in the economy's success?

But there's a political imperative behind the "ownership society" theme: the need to provide pseudopopulist cover to policies that are, in reality, highly elitist.

...[explanation of bush economic policies as pushed by the campaign]...

As Mr. Bush has said: "Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - can't get fooled again."

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