Webb on Globalization

Jim Webb, it seems, is not content being a decent man, a fine campaigner, a hero to the Democratic party and a refreshingly authoritative voice on security issues. Today he moves forward on the part of his campaign that discussed economic fairness with an impressive and articulate article in the Wall St Journal. I understood from others, and from his background as an author, that Webb could write. Nonetheless its impressive to see a sitting politician put out something that looks like its been written by a talented human being, rather than (at best) a cautious team of trained operatives or (at worst) a less than infinite number of monkeys.


Up to now, most American workers have simply been worried about their job prospects. Once they understand that there are (and were) clear alternatives to the policies that have dislocated careers and altered futures, they will demand more accountability from the leaders who have failed to protect their interests. The "Wal-Marting" of cheap consumer products brought in from places like China, and the easy money from low-interest home mortgage refinancing, have softened the blows in recent years. But the balance point is tipping in both cases, away from the consumer and away from our national interest. The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag" while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet. But this election cycle showed an electorate that intends to hold government leaders accountable for allowing every American a fair opportunity to succeed.

I don't agree with all that he says. The picture of american inequality isn't as bleak as he claims. The chances of "political unrest" are far fetched. His paragraph on genetics strikes an odd, unlikely tone. He is light (read: empty) on ideas to fix the problems he cites. And the populist tone of his campaign gives the hint that the suggestions to which he warms would not be those that NDN would endorse. Nonetheless the thrust of his argument is sound, and his last line - that "government leaders have no greater duty than to confront the growing unfairness in this age of globalization." - is welcome for highlighting the central role that globalization must play in any sensible progressive politics of the future. Bottom Line: can you imagine George Allen saying anything half this sharp? Frankly, The more i see of Senator Webb, the more i like. I'm off to find 7000 Virginians to thank.