Column: No room for economic nostalgia


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Our progressive colleagues have been telling us for years that the 1950s were a horrid time.

Racial segregation prevailed, and women were repressed; conservative cries for family values are naïve and dangerous. Going back to the ’50s is neither desirable nor possible — you can’t bring back Ozzie and Harriet.

We agree with parts of this assessment. Going back is impossible. No one wants a return of Jim Crow or strict gender roles. And although conservatives rightly esteem stable family life, most recognize government can do little to accomplish this.

But now the tables have turned — it is our progressive friends who are pining for the halcyon days of the 1950s.

Back then, you see, income was distributed more equally, labor unions were powerful, the rich paid more in taxes and public services were well-funded. Professor Paul Krugman’s Twinkie Manifesto and the Ed Asner-narrated cartoon released by the California Teachers Union are examples of this nostalgia.

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