Monday, July 18, 2011

What Form of Bad Governance

Republicans are citing polls which show that a significant majority of the public does not want the debt ceiling to be raised. The president is citing polls showing that a majority support “taxing the rich, eliminating corporate tax breaks, and cutting foreign and defense spending abroad.” Both sides are proving that our founding fathers were right, because all of the positions favored by the public boil down to “let someone else pay for it,” and all of those positions are idiotic.

taxing the rich = "let the rich pay for it"
eliminating corporate tax breaks = "let corporations pay for it"
cutting foreign spending abroad = "let foreign countries pay for it"
cutting defense spending = "let the military pay for it"
all of the above = "don't make me pay for it"

None of that translates to sound fiscal policy. The founding fathers created a representative republic rather than direct democracy for a very good reason. They did not trust that reasonable and effective governance would result from direct democracy because decisions would be based on emotion and the "base desires" of the public rather than reason. They were, of course, exactly correct.

Since we now have career politicians who are governing for reelection rather than for the well being of the nation, and every vote in Congress is based not on what is best for the nation but what best enhances reelection, we have effectively changed our government to direct democracy, because the representatives of the people no longer act based on their judgement but based on what appeals to the emotion and "base desires" of whoever is reelecting them.

Whether that “re-electorate” is the public at large or the oligarchy which provides the cash is irrelevant, and in terms of Congressional decision-making it’s some of both. The point is that decisions are not made for the good of the nation but rather to serve the desires of that re-electorate.

This is precisely why government is failing, because direct democracy does not work; just as the founding fathers predicted.

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