In short, although Kazin paints welfare state liberalism as opposed to monopoly and “big money,” the reality was often quite different, to the detriment of minorities, women and consumers. However, as the world moved into the 1970s, firms in Europe and Japan had fully rebuilt their ability to compete. Meanwhile, America continued to dismantle the cartels and the de jure racial and sexual discrimination that helped prop them up, typically on a bipartisan basis. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats in Congress; Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy helped deregulate the transportation sector and the natural gas markets.
Ironically, one of the left’s favorite tropes is that the right wants to “turn back the clock,” when the death of the blue model in the face of economic and social liberalization increasingly causes progressives to pine for the “good old days.” Unfortunately, their state of denial is an anchor that impedes America from moving forward in the 21st century. The denialism rampant among the governing and chattering classes remains at a significantly critical mass that the American electorate will largely continue to avoid acknowledging the depths of our structural problems.