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The New Yorker on Reid-Angle race: ‘Great clash of social visions’

Nicholas Lemann in the The New Yorker reports on Sen. Harry Reid and the U.S. Senate race in Nevada, placing it in the context of the state’s economic crash.

"This race is not just a matter of the usual campaign byplay. It’s a test of whether Americans don’t want ‘government’ or really don’t want government — the modern state. And it takes place in a petri dish where some of the distinctive aspects of American life in the twenty-first century (loosening of social bonds, soaring hope in new ventures, rootlessness, risk, debt) have been cultured, so they are on display in a potent form," Lemann said.

"People go to Nevada to loosen the bonds of traditional society and try something new. What has happened there over the past twenty years is a particularly American version of the economic cycle. European governments get into trouble by overloading on pensions and other expensive benefits; American governments get into trouble by practicing a kind of casino liberalism, in which credit flows too easily, everybody goes too deeply into debt, and if the growth ever stops, everything crashes. Now Nevadans are being presented with a great clash of social visions: help from Washington with Reid versus less of Washington with (Sharron) Angle."


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