Based on David Frum’s recent article, I have some questions:
- Frum has come to accept the modern welfare state after the 2008 economic crash and the fact that the years leading up to the crash didn’t raise the income of middle class Americans. So what is “conservative” about the welfare state? Can the two be reconciled? What does it mean to “shape the welfare state?”
- The last 30 years or so of conservatism has basically rested on the concepts of small government, low taxes and less regulation. Is the willingness to accept the welfare state mean a repudiation of the last three decades in conservatism? If so, then what is conservatism now?
- What is Frum’s role when it comes to taxation? Does he expect tax rates to rise and if so, how much? What type of taxation should we use in the future? Income tax? A VAT tax? Both?
- Walter Russell Mead has argued that the “blue social model,” which is basically the welfare state that has been in place since the 1930s or so, is starting fail in light of a changing world. Does Frum agree with this analysis?