Mike Konczal's most recent Wonkblog column focuses in on the potential pitfalls facing any attempt to put reformist libertarians and reformist liberals together into what Michael Lind has been describing as a coalition against rentiers—people who receive a substantial amount of "unearned" income.
In a recent series of three posts at Salon, Michael Lind of the New America Foundation argues that this threat of rentiers is back and causing mass stagnation in an age of huge wealth. Lind believes that an anti-rentier agenda could unite a broad coalition, including "owners of productive businesses as well as workers, populist conservatives and liberal reformers."
Meanwhile, conservatives are trying to assemble their own coalition by developing an economic agenda suited to where the country is right now. Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner called for a free-market populism, one that shows that "big government expands the privileges of the privileged class." Others see a younger generation of conservative activists as harbingers of this approach to economic policy.
If that's the case, where might we see overlap on the left and the right, and where might we see stark differences?
One problem Konczal anticipates is that the conservative side of the coalition has too narrow of a view of the problem.
"One issue is that free-market populists tend to only see problems where government is acting, consciously or unconsciously, to boost monopoly power. More reformist liberals would tend to see market power itself as something that occurs naturally and needs some sort of public accountability," Konczal writes.
This strikes me as missing the mark.