American distrust of government?

Geoffrey Garrett neglects the importance of history and institutions when he compares the fortunes of Obama and Rudd: In a country of drought and flooding rains, sunburnt Australians care deeply about climate change, and they want their representatives to do something about it. But in the land of the free and the home of the […]

Are the Democrats too liberal?

The Obama administration’s struggles over health care have raised again the question of whether the Democrats are out of touch with public opinion. This is a challenge for American liberals. In recent years they have tended to argue for the existence of a natural left majority on economic issues which they admit can be undercut […]

Fair Work and Employee Free Choice: liberalism vs. social democracy

The demise of the Employee Free Choice Act and the woes of American health reform shed light on the distinction  between social liberalism and social democracy as forms of left-wing politics. This has been raised by David Brody in his address at the recent Labour History conference where he contrasted the success of the Rudd […]

Institutions and incentives

Mathew Yglesias on the Senate: The supermajority—and, more broadly, the extreme difficulty of moving legislation—makes it easier for elected officials to make contradictory commitments to various people. Consider that as long as Democrats clearly didn’t have the votes to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, they could promise labor law reform to unions while also […]