The new interventionism isn't so much socialist as it is Confucian -- a belief that a public-private partnership of the wise ones will get us out of the mess. And if it's any consolation, the Chinese are becoming more like us, even as we are becoming more like them. . . .
One hopeful sign last week was that the Chinese were moving toward private ownership, even as America and Europe were moving away from it. The Chinese government announced a new rural policy aimed at allowing millions of farmers to own the land they have been working. This would create a huge new reserve of private wealth in China, which could power domestic spending and growth. [Read more.]
A focal point of this new order, which I will explain further later, will be the development of the economic potential of the mass of producers. The innovation will be that such focus will be justified in terms of the promotion of prosperity, not just through appeals to social justice.
A few suggested conversation topics:
What positive effects can you imagine coming out of the crisis?
Can democratic institutions respond to crisis with coherence?
What aspect of the financial crisis would you focus on if you were Paulson?