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Tag Archives: Donald Devine

Don Devine: The Enduring Tension

Don Devine elaborates on his panel remarks at the 2015 Spring Meeting on The Roots of Conservatism–and Its Future.

Don Devine: No radicalism, please?

At Liberty Law Blog, Don Devine takes a look at two recent books:

Room to Grow (YG Network), [described by David Brooks as “[T]he most coherent and compelling policy agenda the American right has produced this century.”], and Mickelthwaite’s and Woolridge’s The Fourth Revolution, and finds them wanting.

Don writes:

Certainly, the necessary changes are not possible today under President Obama. But neither are the Room to Grow or The Fourth Revolution proposals. What can be achieved is for reformers to create a truly radical plan if they ever get the electoral opportunity to act. Micklethwait and Wooldridge are closer to the fundamental changes required but they bury them in their penultimate chapter. As they correctly suggest, the real historical successes were cases in which decisions were sent to the market or to local government and people were allowed to figure things out for themselves. Direction is changed by the single stroke, not by bureaucratic policy nuance. Privatization and decentralization of governmental power are the only recipe for a genuine overhaul of the overly centralized welfare state.

If overload is the problem weighing down the welfare state, it follows that reducing the range of responsibilities and sending them elsewhere, not devising new policies for the existing bureaucracy to carry out, is the solution. For the wary, this is not institutional manipulation but restoration of the Constitution to its policy wisdom in Article I, Section

Don Devine: Where is Robert Gates?

Don Devine’s latest at The American Conservative:  

It is clear that Putin has gone further than cool rationality would require. He could have left Crimea within Ukraine and saved billions of dollars in subsidies, and he could still have gained political control over a more autonomous Crimea. He still would have won an enormous psychological victory if he had. Paradoxically, the fact that Putin’s incorporation of Crimea weakens Russia makes him more dangerous. He still has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them no matter how economically backward Russia becomes. This is a situation that demands humility and realism on the part of America and the West.

Where is Robert Gates when we need him?


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