Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What's A Liberal?

Via Altercation:

One of the first correspondences I received in response to my readers query on Friday about whether it was possible to sum up a contemporary liberal worldview in a few short sentences came from my friend Danny Goldberg. He wrote:

1. Government is required to balance unfairness and excess of private business interests. Examples—environmental regulation, minimum wage, worker safety laws. Conservative arguments which have distorted progressive taxation, weakened regulation of big business, and weakened rights of labor have resulted in corruption of big business and and unhealthy gap between rich and poor. As Warren Buffet says—"there has been class warfare in recent decades and the rich are winning."

2. Government is uniquely qualified to provide for certain needs of a society—examples public schools, most kinds of health care, public transportation, public safety, public parks and recreation areas. Conservative arguments weakening government have resulted in the U.S. falling behind other countries in most of these areas.

3. One of government’s roles is the protection of minorities with regard to certain basic rights. Examples—civil rights legislation and laws protecting gays and lesbians.

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