Originally Posted by Fedaykin
.. changes that were radically different from the traditions of the time, and made as an acknowledged experiment backed by sound reasoning and decent evidence.
But you are completely wrong about the founding principals of our country and other fledgling western democracies (such as France). Modern western society is built on the idea of social equality, not any particular economic system. Most importantly, our society was set up to abolish the idea of inherited privileged and rule via nobility, clergy and others and to extinguish associated inequalities between individuals.
Western societies employ significantly different economies, though they all share one common thread: a non-extremist economy. There are no laissez-faire economies. There are no communist economies.
France was a bit player in the development of modern Western Civ. There's a reason they went from a major world power in the age of Kings to a me-too country in the Anglo-American age. Because, as you allude to, they had a different set of values. And they didn't work out all that well.
The other tendency of conservatives, illustrated here on a regular basis, is to argue against strawmen. A well regulated, mixed economy ala 1930-1980 in the U.S. is what has been demonstrated to be, by far the least horrible of economic systems tried.
The other issue here is that the direction our society is going is not toward command & control. It's moving is exactly the opposite direction. And it's not a command and control economy that will lead to monarchy and a nobility system (i.e. feudalism). It's unrestrained capitalism. Feudalism is the end result of laissez-faire. Laissez-faire leads to a vast disparity in wealth. Once only a miniscule minority of folks have all the wealth and all the land, then all you have is land lords and serfs.
I'll agree that there was a happier medium somewhere between 1945 and 1980. To see some of the abuses of the gilded age would give a guy a whole different perspective. There was a time and a place for the Progressive Era, and it brought about many needed changes.
But somewhere along the way, we went from questions of whether companies should take basic safety measures to preserve workers' lives and limbs, to mandates on what kind of contraceptive measures they must provide in their private health plans.
We have a regulate-first ask, ask questions later culture in Washington. And they have no clue what kinds of impacts they have outside their own little silk cocoons. The only way they'll be stopped is by someone saying enough is enough. In the right season, the 'conservative' function is just as important as the progressive one.