Tuesday, October 25, 2005
A Rose by any other name.... even stink blossom?
What's the Difference Between a Liberal and a Progressive?by david sirota
Personally I don't think there is a difference between a "liberal" and a "conservative". I do think that Sirota is using these interchange terms to draw an important distinction. He has his the "liberal" advocating spending government money on good programs but unwiling to us governmental power.
I think his argument between liberal and progressive has less to do with ideology and more to do with the fact it is easy to spend tax payers money than to propose and enforce fair laws [especially as regards corporate interests. I do think Sirota's approach is a good way of talking about this issue though.
Here is a sample:
We can see a good example of this hesitation from Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in his "health care to hybrids" proposal. As the Detroit News reports, Obama is calling "for using government money to relieve Detroit automakers of some of their staggering health care obligations if they commit to improving fuel economy by 3 percent a year for 15 years."
Here's the thing - we all want to see autoworkers' health care preserved, and we all want to see better fuel efficiency standards for cars. But is this really the road we want to go down as a society? I'd say no. The fact is, the auto industry should be forced to produce more fuel efficient cars through higher government fuel efficiency mandates, without taxpayers having to bail out the industry. It's not like those mandates would be asking the industry to do something that doesn't make good business sense - demand for higher fuel-efficiency cars is skyrocketing.
Paying off corporations to do what they already should be doing sets a dangerous precedent - it sends a message to Big Business that they can leverage their irresponsible behavior into government handouts. In this case, the auto industry would be leveraging its refusal to produce more fuel efficient cars and preserve its workers' health care into a giant taxpayer-funded subsidy.