Because conservatives mistrust government, but not corporations, it is ok for corporations to be large and the government to be small. In fact, the conservative’s driving principle is that smaller government is better.
Progressives mistrust both. Progressives mistrust government particularly when it comes to waging war, tax policy that further concentrates wealth, extending ‘corporate welfare’ and under-regulating sectors of the economy. They are constantly worried about special interests, often (but not always) large corporations, which are in control of the government machinery.
However, because the government is the main counterbalance to corporate power in the progressive model, it must have comparable power. That the progressives want the government to be more powerful does not necessarily stem from the love of government, but rather the need for the government to have the power to direct corporate behavior to be more in line with national security (or public good). In fact, government is the only effective foil to the worst corporate abuses.
So, at the end of the day, it’s not that progressives necessarily feel that the government can perform the same task better than can the private sector, though clearly sometimes it does. It is rather that the progressives understand that if the government is too constrained, then large corporations will run amok, degrading the environment, shifting America’s manufacturing base overseas and exposing the nation to excessive economic and financial risk…as they have recently done...to the detriment of national security. To learn more see NewsGuides™ Top 10 Issues 2011 (available at http://www.uspolicy.com/).
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