Obama's re-election could very well mark a shift in American attitudes toward a more expansive role for the government, says
economist Edward Glaeser at Bloomberg
. Indeed, a more European
role for government.
But two characteristics peculiar to America hold such change back, according to Glaeser: our political institutions and our racial diversity. The checks and balances built into our Constitution and our non-proportional form of representation prevent a strong, centralized welfare state from emerging. At least very easily. And our ethnic diversity, a veritable rainbow compared
to northern Europe, undermines the sense of public solidarity required to implement
a broader welfare state.