Sign of the Times: A Note

by Mario Rizzo

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial “ObamaCare and the Constitution” in Friday’s edition. It covers ground similar to my post below.

However, there is sentence that bothers me, not because it is wrong, but because it expresses the temper of our times:

Judicial and media liberals are trying to dismiss these challenges [to the constitutionality of Obamacare] as a revanchist attempt to repeal the New Deal, or, worse, as a way to restore the states’s rights of Jim Crow.

Yes, it is quite unfashionable, even among conservatives, to want to repeal most or all of the New Deal. It is true that finding the current healthcare bill to be unconstitutional would in no way threaten these hallowed laws. However, I wish that the New Deal were not so beyond reconsideration. I think many economists would agree that much of its legislation could, with general benefit, either be repealed outright or be seriously revised. We can begin with the labor legislation.

It also bothers me, although I fully understand why, some people insist on associating “states’ rights” with Jim Crow or with slavery, for that matter. But for intelligent people not to see the advantages of federalism is inexcusable. After all, slaves were private property but we don’t therefore assume that all manifestations of private property are bad. Well, at least not most people. I hope.