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From Cairo to California

SINGAPORE – Egypt and California are headed in opposite directions politically. Egypt has had too little democracy and is moving towards more. California has had too much democracy and is moving towards less. The common mean point they should arrive at is democracy that delivers good government – and I mean “government,” not mushy “governance.”

For decades, “government” has been demonized. Ronald Reagan famously said that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” But Reagan was only the most eloquent spokesman for this Zeitgeist. He did not manufacture it; decades of laissez-faire theory and proselytizing did.