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Hey, big spenders

Many commentators, especially on the left, hope that the economic crisis will prompt us to rethink consumerism. One of America’s leading communitarian philosophers considers what should take its place

In an article in May, the Economist praised France for resisting the worst effects of the global economic crisis. France and Germany appear to have fared well in comparison with Britain and the US. The magazine attributed these differences to the role the state plays in each economy. France is the most statist country, Germany less so and Britain and the US are least state-protected. The Economist usually chides Europeans for not embracing the free market. Hence it rushed to claim that France’s success cannot last and that it and Germany will have to move in the Anglo-Saxon direction in…

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