Saturday, April 25, 2015

Politics: Game of Dunces

Politics can't solve the problem, politics is the problem

Election 2016: Who will be the next Captain of the Titanic?

At some point along the way, the U.S. political system stopped being the solution, and has now firmly become the problem. It's a system of dismemberment whereby the 14,000 Special Interest Groups operating in D.C. take turns at the public trough at the expense of the majority. The fact that this "system" engages the self-nominated "best and brightest" minds in the country, read as loudest and most over-confident, is the truly sad part. Generational liquidators. 

Politics: A System of rent-seeking and dismemberment
Historians will spend years figuring out what went wrong, but personally, I can't see how governments can be run by lawyers. By definition, the legal professional is about rent-seeking - a zero sum game of extracting one party's benefit at another party's expense. Over years and decades this has led to an accumulated detritus of overlapping, conflicting laws. A byzantine maze of regulation and red tape that even lawyers can no longer decipher. It's a Special Interest Group bonanza,because almost any type of rent-seeking can be legally approved based upon the myriad loopholes. According to Ron Paul, a net new 40,000 laws were put on the books on the first day of 2012. That ludicrous figure, came from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even if that many new laws were put on the books in 10 years, it would be equally ludicrous. Laws are meant to guide behaviour, not catch citizens up in legal SNAFUs that they didn't even know existed. The vast majority of laws go on the books and are never removed. All of the pork trading of course goes on behind closed doors. While ordinary citizens are at work making ends meet, unbeknownst to them their rights and property are being systematically eviscerated and distributed to the privileged minority. 

More laws means less accountability
The concept of having a few laws that are strictly enforced with regards to the spirit of the law, rather than the narrowest interpretation, never saw the light of day. That would put too many lawyers out of work, render Special Interest Groups inert, enforce accountability, allow citizens to fully understand their rights, level the playing field between large and small business, and otherwise make way too much fucking sense. You don't ask a barber if you need a haircut, and you don't ask a lawyer (politician), if you need a new law. 

What is needed is more general awareness of this underlying political dysfunction, because today it's nearly non-existent. Everyone wants to pretend that their "team" has all the answers. Only when the rent-seekers and their cheer-leading acolytes experience first-hand the fruits of their self-destructing endeavours will everyone be on the same page. 

Too many people on both teams think they're winning, when in reality everyone is losing.