[I’m moving blogs – check out the Next New Deal Rortybomb blog, here is the new rss feed, and here is this post over at the new site. I move over entirely Wednesday, and will cross post until then.]

What should liberal wonks make of the conservative movement’s abandonment of center-right policy innovations like the individual mandate and cap-and-trade once President Obama took them up? To answer this, it might be useful to look at revisions made to the 1892 edition of Herbert Spencer’s classic 19th century handbook of laissez-faire, Social Statics or The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed.  That’s the book Oliver Wendell Holmes alluded to when dissenting in Lochner, famously saying, “The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer’s Social Statics.”


Herbert Spencer’s name bounced around the internet while I was on vacation after President Obama…

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