The Current Income Inequality And Job Creation Crisis
I'm reading Eric Foner's latest book The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American slavery. In the preface of the book, Foner discusses Lincoln's historical relationship to abolitionist activists:
Lincoln, many recent scholars have argued, acted within the narrow limits of the possible, as established by Northern public opinion. Public opinion however, is never static; the interactions of enlightened political leaders, engaged social movements, and day to day experiences [. . .[ can change the nature of public debate and in so doing the boundaries of what is practical. As the Chicago Tribune noted at the end of the Civil War, in crisis situations beliefs once pronounced "impractical radicalism" suddenly become "practical statesmanship."
(Emphasis supplied.) Foner's point is that Lincoln's actions were not solely shaped by his own perceptions of what was possible, but very much influenced by the spaces created by the public discourse. With regard to our current economic crises regarding joblessness and income inequality, the period where the Obama Administration would welcome the notion that we are in a "crisis situation" has clearly passed. The President's State of the Union address demonstrates that, either for political or policy reasons, the Obama Administration wants to signal an "all clear" on the economic crises and focus on "winning the future. Ezra Klein wrote:
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