While I’m on a Saturday-before-Sunday GFW kick, here’s his generally laudatory review of Brink Lindsey’s The Age of Abundance. Here’s GFW’s conclusion, which I’m not sure some of my dyspeptic friends will share, if they get around to reading the book (I probably will):
He believes that “the common commitment to chase that horizon became the glue that held an increasingly pluralistic society together.” Piffle. America’s remarkable social cohesion is not reducible to that. We are a creedal nation, dedicated to a proposition, which is approximately this: All people are created equal and have a right to spacious freedom that produces unequal outcomes.
Lindsey rightly says that “today’s typical red-state conservative is considerably bluer on race relations, the role of women and sexual morality than his predecessor of a generation ago.” And “the typical bluestate liberal is considerably redder than his predecessor when it comes to the importance of markets to economic growth, the virtues of the two-parent family and the morality of American geopolitical power.” In “the bell curve of ideological allegiance,” the large bulging center has settled, for now, on an “implicit libertarian synthesis, one which reaffirms the core disciplines that underlie and sustain the modern lifestyle while making much greater allowances for variations within that lifestyle.” If so, material abundance has been, on balance , good for us, and Lindsey’s measured cheerfulness is, like his scintillating book, reasonable.