Speech! Speech!

By Megan McArdle

Will Wilkinson liveblogs so you don't have to.

I was disappointed by the beginning of his speech, which seems to have consisted of saying:  "There are no tradeoffs, and the people who tell you there are are just big fat HATERS, okay?"  He is delivering it beautifully, as he always does, but the words do not really say much about how we will weather the dark storm on the horizon.

The second half, on the other hand, is beautiful.  I do not know that glad embrace of the duties of citizenship, as well as the benefits, will fix our economy, but it might fix many other things that are wrong with our country.  If he means it.

The libertarians will hate it, I predict.  But voluntary embrace of duty is the health of a small state--it's when people won't care for the collective that the government starts making them do it.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/01/speech-speech/4589/