Amity Shlaes on the Great Society

Amity Shlaes is the author of Great Society: A New History, a sweeping revision of our last great period of governmental idealism, the 1960s. She is the presidential scholar at The Kings College in New York, chairs the board of trustees of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, and previously wrote bestsellers The Forgotten Man and Coolidge. (You really need to read them all!)

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There are 6 comments.

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  1. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Woa, love Amity. but the audio… can some filters be run on that to block out the ? air conditioner?

    • #1
    • January 17, 2020, at 6:13 PM PST
    • Like
  2. Lois Lane Coolidge

    I enjoyed the interview. Thanks for doing it!!!

    • #2
    • January 17, 2020, at 8:04 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. kedavis Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Woa, love Amity. but the audio… can some filters be run on that to block out the ? air conditioner?

    Sounds to me like they were too far from the microphone(s), the levels were turned up too high to compensate for that, and the “noise gate” (or something like it) got in the way some too, one term for that is – or at least used to be – “pumping.” It can be very distracting.

    • #3
    • January 17, 2020, at 8:46 PM PST
    • Like
  4. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Great podcast! Back in 1976 through 1978 I was a consumer complaint mediator for a consumer protection center focusing on the low-income population of Baton Rouge—our office being located right down the street from the area’s federally funded Community Action Agency. Even we so-called altruists thought of the CAA as merely a jobs program. Anyway, one of my most memorable complaints involved warranty issues on a Chevy or Chrysler (can’t remember which), which the dealership would not deal with, claiming that the warranty had expired so there was nothing they could do (even though the consumer had complained for months about the problem. At the time, the only foreign car companies of note (aside from fancy sports cars only rich people bought) were Volkswagen and, as Amity noted, Toyota. I do not lie when I say I recognized right then that if the auto industry was faced with real competition they would be brought down, which of course they were. Today, the CAA has been replaced, and people I know want Medicare for all and claim to be pro-union all drive Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas, and other foreign cars. I think this says something about the inability of the progressive mindset to think holistically and contextually, which is one reason (I suspect) why they cannot grasp the importance of human incentives in policy making. I’d love to know Amity’s thoughts on that observation.

    • #4
    • January 18, 2020, at 11:36 AM PST
    • Like
  5. kedavis Member

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):

    Great podcast! Back in 1976 through 1978 I was a consumer complaint mediator for a consumer protection center focusing on the low-income population of Baton Rouge—our office being located right down the street from the area’s federally funded Community Action Agency. Even we so-called altruists thought of the CAA as merely a jobs program. Anyway, one of my most memorable complaints involved warranty issues on a Chevy or Chrysler (can’t remember which), which the dealership would not deal with, claiming that the warranty had expired so there was nothing they could do (even though the consumer had complained for months about the problem. At the time, the only foreign car companies of note (aside from fancy sports cars only rich people bought) were Volkswagen and, as Amity noted, Toyota. I do not lie when I say I recognized right then that if the auto industry was faced with real competition they would be brought down, which of course they were. Today, the CAA has been replaced, and people I know want Medicare for all and claim to be pro-union all drive Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas, and other foreign cars. I think this says something about the inability of the progressive mindset to think holistically and contextually, which is one reason (I suspect) why they cannot grasp the importance of human incentives in policy making. I’d love to know Amity’s thoughts on that observation.

    But if those Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas etc, are built – at least assembled – in the US, which many of them are, it’s less of an argument. Although those plants are likely non-union.

    • #5
    • January 18, 2020, at 6:28 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):

    Great podcast! Back in 1976 through 1978 I was a consumer complaint mediator for a consumer protection center focusing on the low-income population of Baton Rouge—our office being located right down the street from the area’s federally funded Community Action Agency. Even we so-called altruists thought of the CAA as merely a jobs program. Anyway, one of my most memorable complaints involved warranty issues on a Chevy or Chrysler (can’t remember which), which the dealership would not deal with, claiming that the warranty had expired so there was nothing they could do (even though the consumer had complained for months about the problem. At the time, the only foreign car companies of note (aside from fancy sports cars only rich people bought) were Volkswagen and, as Amity noted, Toyota. I do not lie when I say I recognized right then that if the auto industry was faced with real competition they would be brought down, which of course they were. Today, the CAA has been replaced, and people I know want Medicare for all and claim to be pro-union all drive Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas, and other foreign cars. I think this says something about the inability of the progressive mindset to think holistically and contextually, which is one reason (I suspect) why they cannot grasp the importance of human incentives in policy making. I’d love to know Amity’s thoughts on that observation.

    But if those Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas etc, are built – at least assembled – in the US, which many of them are, it’s less of an argument. Although those plants are likely non-union.

    Good point. I say they consider themselves to be pro-union because they greatly supported the GM bailout that helped workers at the expense of shareholders and felt nothing for Ford for not taking a bailout. My sense is that most people I know on the left (which they consider to be the center) have no more understanding of your point than the one I want to make, which is that they see the value of having a dependable car and a car company they can depend on (and have the money to do so) but are clueless about the socioeconomic trade offs they are making. They think they are intellectually consistent without allowing for a more dynamic argument about historical cause and effect.

    • #6
    • January 19, 2020, at 10:07 AM PST
    • Like