Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Unwinding, Entry 2

    Well, I read up through the section on Oprah. The author sets the reader up to dislike Oprah by telling a very sad story about a Steel town in Ohio where all the jobs left. I had no sooner thought 'this sounds like a Bruce Springsteen song' when he turned around and quoted one! The book is purportedly about the dismantling of the safety net and so on. He hasn't gotten around to doing much of that yet. But he seems to be circling around the stories so there will likely be more of this later.
     I found myself wondering how much of a safety net has there actually been, and for how long, in the U.S.? It's true that especially after LBJ there was more of a safety net -- for a while. But for, say, most of the 19th Century there wasn't much, and many of FDR's and Truman's efforts(right after WW 2, Truman sent a New Dealesque paper to Congress) were blocked by republicans and conservative democrats. And, while there are a lot of things to like about Eisenhower, he did seem to be more of a fiscal conservative than the democrats(while being nowhere near as loopy as the Ayn Rand wackos popping up all over the place these days). Does this mean that the safety net is more of an anomaly in American history? I hope not.

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