Cowen continues the conversation over at his blog:
Maybe Arnold Kling won't like this column, but when I look around the globe for episodes of successful spending restraint I see Canada, Finland, Sweden, and now possibly (probably) Ireland, which is in the midst of fiscal restructuring. I see change coming from elites and I see relatively left-wing governments (Ireland, admittedly, is harder to classify) which are trusted by their citizens. The Greek government, in contrast, doesn't operate with the same level of social cohesion and thus it is likely to fail.
I believe the "social trust" scenario for spending cuts is overlooked because it raises the relative status of groups which people who favor spending cuts do not wish to raise.
Wilkinson focuses on another aspect of Cowen's article, whether the tea party movement will restore fiscal sanity. I cannot see how a movement that still supports George W Bush has much credibility on fiscal sanity. And the total absence of any proposals to, you know, cut spending or even, gasp, raise some taxes ... well, it doesn't help prove they're not all just whiny, enraged utopians with a race problem, does it?
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