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Sender: Rickrad
Subject: Philadelphia Society Meeting Report
Date: Tue, Apr 8, 2014
Msg: 100903

The Philadelphia Society is a group of very conservative political scientists, philosophers, economists, journalists, and business leaders founded in 1964. Milton Friedman was a founding member.

I attended this meeting as a guest. Here are some key takeaways relative to the transpartisan movement:

1) I found one conservative there who was openly and actively seeking to find common ground between conservatives and progressives. His name is Gleaves Whitney from Grand Valley State University and he operates the "common-ground initiative", described here:

2) Dr. Gordon Lloyd from Pepperdine spoke and made two very important points to challenge conservatives: First, that even though conservatives often claim that progressives violate the constitution, the truth is that progressives have obtained the success they have through constitutional means -- including constitutional amendments, voting, activism, free speech and judicial appointments. Second, that the desire for equality, fairness and social justice is as fundamental a human desire as the desire for liberty -- perhaps even more so since people will often give up liberty in the pursuit of equality, fairness or social justice.

3) There was a generally positive reception to "cap-and-prioritize". I found that I had to describe it first as "limits-plus-limits", meaning that the "cap" is clearly about limiting government and that requiring the government to publish a prioritized budget is yet another way to limit what government could do. Then I would reveal the chart that shows how cap-and-prioritize pursues social justice and it was funny to watch them do cartwheels arguing that social justice wasn't a proper pursuit of the government even though they had just agreed that "limits-plus-limits" was a clearly good thing. It led to some really good debates and it is important to point out that these conservatives welcomed those debates.

4) Canada's recent social-spending reforms apparently divide up a capped budget, block-grant it to the provinces and allow the provinces to decide how best to prioritize those funds with very few strings attached. Apparently, the early results are quite positive. I will need to take a closer look as this could be considered an early form of cap-and-prioritize. If you have more information about Canada's social spending reform, I would like to hear about it.

5) Chile, a country that aggressively implemented the free-market reforms of Milton Friedman and "the Chicago School" in the 70's and 80's, is now discovering that it is increasingly difficult to maintain the political viability of those reforms in that there is now enough wealth and prosperity that people want to start sharing that prosperity through government redistribution. So while Chile's success relative to other South American countries clearly shows that conservative principles do foster economic growth it is equally clear that conservative principles alone are not the full solution in that they are not politically sustainable.

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. ? Rick Raddatz Founder, Americans for Incentive Reform 303-949-8075 (preliminary paper on cap-and-prioritize) ?


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