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4.12.2017

Washington and the prosperous, well-educated fellows who inhabit it. Every one of them knows that the real problem with government is what they call entitlement spending, meaning Social Security and Medicare; that the obvious solution is some sort of privatization; and also that every

### “All agreed”; “all accepted.” It’s difficult for outsiders to understand the kind of hypnotic appeal such invocations of consensus hold for Washington and the prosperous, well-educated fellows who inhabit it. Every one of them knows that the real problem with government is what they call entitlement spending, meaning Social Security and Medicare; that the obvious solution is some sort of privatization; and also that every other responsible, professional-class person either agrees on this matter or else is a charlatan or demagogue of some species or other.
I have heard some expression of this consensus since the day I met my first congressional staffer back in the Eighties. I’ve heard it from certain kinds of Democrats as well as Republicans; from losers as well as winners. As with free trade and welfare reform, there is no amount of reporting or argument that will budge this idée fixe; people of a certain educational background simply know it to be true.  Thomas Frank, listen liberal

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