Friday, October 8, 2010

A Really, Really Simple Observation.

Conservatives, following President Reagan, like to say that government will not solve the problem, government is the problem. This is at least partly true.

What problem are they talking about? Inasmuch as we need government to deal with a number of societal problems that cannot safely be left to the "invisible hand" of the market (particularly, unregulated markets that invite monumental white collar crime, that is, very UNfair markets), the problem seems to be to get a government that effectively solves societal problems in the national interest.

There, that was simple - and there is a simple solution: create a government that cannot be bought! However, even a simple concept can be difficult to implement. The difficulty arises from a flaw in human nature. Many politicians LOVE to be bought if that will assure their continued incumbency and prosperity. Consequently, one very likely evolutionary course for a democracy is to become a representative plutocracy or a corporate state.

Of course, we could, in principle, replace expensive, privately financed campaigns with publicly funded campaigns. That would be much less costly in the long run if it improves government integrity.

What about assuring incumbency? Well, public financing can't do that. Therefore, resistance will be fierce, both from the bought politicians and their corporate benefactors. Its a fight we can't afford to put off indefinitely.

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