In her most recent post Megan McArdle, steps right up to the edge of a Great Truth and then pulls back, unwilling to tumble over the edge. The title of the post is “Hillary and Jeb Agree, But Are Both Mostly Wrong” and here’s her conclusion:
If you like lower taxes and less regulation, vote for the Republican. If you want more paid family leave and child care, vote for the Democrat. But don’t expect miracles from either of them.
The reality is that there is a broad consensus among the members of the nomenklatura, the power structures, of both political parties and much of that consensus is wrong. There are so many areas of agreement between the two parties that they are too numerous to present a complete list. I’ll just mention three: immigration, trade, and banking.
Both parties believe that we need more low-skill and non-skilled workers and they should be brought in via immigration. You’ll occasionally run into examples of jobs that go wanting because employers can’t find workers to do them. You probably can’t find many native-born Americans who are willing to pull plows, drag large stones across the desert with ropes, or jump into volcanos. We just don’t do things that way any more and there are lots of things we presently do that require an unending supply of low-skill or no-skill workers because employers can depend on a continuing supply.
Both parties agree on the benefits of free trade. In theory that’s correct but in practice the U. S. hasn’t concluded a free trade agreement in my lifetime if ever. There is nothing in David Ricardo’s theory of trade which would lead anyone to conclude that managed trade, the sort that we do have, is of benefit other than to a very few.
Both parties agree that banks should be subsidized. I should hardly need to present substantiating evidence of that. That was the only message that could be drawn from the actions of both political parties in 2007-2009.
I can list others from agricultural subsidies to infrastructure to the size of government but you get the idea. The thing that the Powers-That-Be in both political parties agree on most of all is that the American people are dopes and that they, the Powers, are better suited to determine what’s good for them than they are.