Friday, February 05, 2016

Structuralist or Managerial?

"The financial crisis has reignited the debate among progressives over how aggressively to regulate the modern financial sector. But it also reveals this underlying tension between different progressive visions of governance. Mainstream progressives have tended to take the same line as Clinton and Obama, emphasizing an approach to economic regulation that prioritizes pragmatic, expert oversight. By invoking a different progressive tradition that offers an alternative to both an overly optimistic faith in top-down technocracy, and to the scorched earth deregulatory zeal of conservatives, Sanders is shifting the terms of the debate. Progressives may share a desire to redress the problems of private power and economic inequality, but they will have to also address these questions about how best to accomplish those aims. By renewing an older progressive tradition in the spirit of Brandeis and the antitrusters of the first Gilded Age, Sanders has raised a challenge that progressives will have to grapple with, whatever the outcome of this race."

K. Sabeel Rahman in The Atlantic asserts that Bernie Sanders is reviving Louis Brandeis's "curse of bigness" argument.

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