, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1. One of the major themes in the history of American conservatism is the way it has uneasily papered over the tensions between laissez-faire capitalism and social traditionalism from the 1960s on. Georgia is pushing these contradictions to the fore. How will it play out?
2. This outrageously anti-woman law, for example, will undoubtedly lead a significant number of young women and men to either a) start looking for work outside of the state or b) turn down job opportunities in that state for jobs elsewhere. The economic effects will not be good.
3. The people who wrote this bill must know this. I'm sure they've heard from major companies located in the state who worry about their ability to attract young, well-educated workers. These companies might ultimately be forced/incentivized to relocate outside of Georgia.
4. The conservatives who wrote this draconian bill almost certainly think of themselves as free market capitalists. I suspect they think of themselves as taking a moral/principled stand that controlling women's reproductive choices is more important than economic growth.
5. But are they really willing to risk turning Georgia into an economic backwater in the name of this extremist position on abortion? According to which economic theory is driving women out of a state's workforce a good idea?
6. Are they deluding themselves into envisioning a Georgian socio-economic system that resembles some nostalgic fantasy of the 1950s where men worked and women had babies? Do they think this alternative (with the heathens driven out of the state) is viable in the 21st century?
7. One way to read Reaganite conservatism is as a political tradition that offered (first and foremost) laissez-faire capitalist governance combined with a social conservatism that was frequently more rhetoric than policy substance.
8. The GOP's social conservatism (anti-gay measures, pro-life, creationism, etc) often functioned as the shop window that pulled in voters, but the GOP store was most interested in providing secular goods like deregulation, privatization, tax cuts for the rich, etc.
9. In the historical GOP bargain between the social conservatives and the laissez-faire capitalists (most of whom weren't entirely on board for the social conservatism), it was more often the capitalists that secured the biggest legislative wins.
10. What we're seeing in Georgia is a renegotiation of the coalition between laissez-faire capitalism & social conservatism. The social conservatives seem to be saying "damn the logic of market choice, we want a state filled w/ women who choose to live w/o reproductive choice."
11. This is more reason to think of the Trumpist GOP as the triumph of the Pat Buchanan, paleo-con, culture war thread of the GOP wch has long been there, but was sorta kept at bay by the economic conservatives who mostly wanted cheaper workers, lower taxes, & fewer regulations.
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