book on the emergence of the market-state is still a singular
touchstone for anyone who wants insight into the future of American
democracy. The market-state is focused more on maximal opportunity
rather than minimum benefits (the welfare state). While this sounds
like a Republican's dream, it isn't. Maximal opportunity requires:
- A level playing field (similar opportunities for all, systemic
changes that keep things level for everyone, regardless of their
- Choice (few limitations on personal freedom).
- Risk mitigation (balanced budgets and an avoidance of foreign wars).
- Quality of life (a clean environment is one major factor).
- Emphasis on those things that allow American's to compete globally (big spending on Education, R&D, and infrastructure).
- Realistic defense (those things needed to really defend us rather than maximal defense).
list goes on. If the US adopts a market-state approach quickly, our
wealth and status will keep pace and likely exceed that of the rest of
the world. If not, we can expect a rapid decline (for example, China
tripled its number of college grads in the last three years to three
times the US total). A test of our ability to embrace this future may
come sooner than later. Eliot Spitzer, perhaps the first market-state
politician, is on the campaign trail to become the Governor of New
York. The Presidency is next. If he can't win (and here's an article in the NYTimes handicapping that), expect the equivalent of ground hog day: more winter. [John Robb's Weblog]