Ezra Klein’s new column illustrates what liberals dream about. In this instance, he dreams of the government imposing yet another tax on Americans (i.e., a carbon tax). Of course, this is one of Klein’s minor dreams; we already know that he primarily dreams about price controls and central planning (especially in healthcare, which accounts for almost 20% of the U.S. economy). And let’s not forget about the soon to be implemented death panel in healthcare. He probably falls into a faint when that topic is broached. Too bad the writer Philip K. Dick isn’t still around; he could write a story about the dreams of android liberals (although it wouldn’t be much due to lack of liberal imagination).
Anyway, Klein’s dream of more government reminds me of the disconnect, which always leaves me dumbfounded (I’m not too bright), between liberals’ dreams and economic reality. For example, liberals today dream of centrally planned societies despite the fact that history proves the superiority of decentralized arrangements based on markets and competition (e.g., more prosperity, less inequality). And, as if historical results weren’t enough, we’ve had over 200 years of economic theory explaining why a market-based economy can be expected to work better. So how is it that the liberal dream ignores this evidence? Is it stubbornness that explains the continued liberal fascination with authoritarian government, or something else? I’ll keep looking for an explanation.