Thursday, June 10, 2004

[US Politics] I was watching CNN earlier. Dinesh D'Souza observed that Reagan popularized the notion that government, instead of being seen as public servants helping society, were bureaucrats who did more harm than good and that this idea has won out in our society today. He wrote about this same idea in a 1999 Slate article:

"Reagan launched a powerful moral attack on the idea of Big Government. He challenged the idea, popularized by JFK, that if you were an idealistic American, you should join the Peace Corps or do "public service," in other words, become a bureaucrat. Reagan denounced the bureaucrat as a do-nothing and a loser, and celebrated the entrepreneur as one of the highest embodiments of American creativity and possibility. And I think that Reagan prevailed. The era of the welfare state that began with FDR effectively ended with RR. Bill Clinton admitted as much when he said "the era of big government is over." Today it's a settled question that markets, not intellectuals and bureaucrats, run the economy."