Thursday, July 21, 2005

Pragmatic Politics

A couple of days ago, Carl Milsted left a comment on the thread of this post. In so doing, he recommended his website called Holistic Politics. From what I gather, Mr. Milsted is interested in building a deep and wide political coalition that favors pragmatism over ideology, progress over gridlock. The opening statement of the site reads as follows:
Over the next few months I intend to populate this site with essays and presentations on a new political paradigm: Holistic Politics. For far too long, political factions argued the relative merit of various values: freedom vs. equality, prosperity vs. a clean environment, and so on. Such emphasis on trade-offs has resulted in unnecessary strife and incomplete solutions to political problems. In the communist world, freedom was extinguished in the goal of equality. In the U.S. poverty reigns in the midst of plenty as we try to preserve freedom vs. creating a European style "welfare state".
Although I’ve not familiarized myself with the entirely of the content, it’s clear that I agree with some of his ideas, but very much disagree with others. Given the nature of the concepts, my view is not anomalous. To illustrate the point, here's an excerpt from the sub-category entitled Welfare That Works.
This is a touchy subject. In order to tackle the problem, I am going to have to say something to offend everyone. Please grit your teeth and keep reading when an alarm bell goes off in your mind. By the time you get to the end of this chapter, you will find much that you like.

Liberals: Yes, I will sound like Rush Limbaugh in a few spots. The Right has made some valid critiques of the current system, and I will address them. But keep reading, and you find some rather different solutions from the ones heard on most conservative talk radio programs.

Conservatives and Libertarians: No, I am not going to call for an end to all transfer programs, and you will find my solutions imperfect at best. But I will call for immediately getting the middle and upper classes off the dole – no more robbing Peter to pay Peter. I will also show how to end the “welfare trap” that increases poverty. What will follow is not the ultimate solution, but the next steps to reducing poverty and excess government. Maybe after these reforms are implemented, privatization will look more feasible. Only time will tell.
See…there’s something there for everyone. Regardless of one’s political philosophy, Holistic Politics is, in my view, an interesting and thoughtful approach to tough problems.

Additionally, Mr. Milsted links to Libertarian Reform Caucus, which is aimed at reforming the Libertarian Party.