20 September 2011

Pre-collapse politics.

There is one BIG problem not yet solved.

In a democracy the leaders get voted in on the basis of promising a good deal to the majority. The more that's promised the greater the chance of being elected.

All the indebted countries (PIIGS) have gone through this process. The schemes of social support were popular. The costs understated and the governments incomes inadequate to meet those promises. Eventually the bills have to be paid by borrowing more and paying ever increasing rates of interest, increasing taxes or cutting the cherished support programs. Or probably all three."

We all have to live within our means" isn't a very likely slogan for winning an election.

If a business goes bust then the directors face bankruptcy. Who carries the can when a country goes bust? The politicians? I doubt it. The electorate? Maybe.

Somebody else?

You wish.[1]
Democracy is unsustainable.

Western economies are in free fall. The irresistible demand for other people's money -- greed and sloth masquerading as "fairness" and "caring" -- has led to the debt crisis.

The same desire for easy living and greasing the wheels of the welfare state and its country cousin, the consumer society (fun über Alice), has led to the immigration disaster throughout the West. God forbid that anyone's living standard should go down if we had to shingle our own roofs or process our own chickens. Or that Social Security payouts might need to be reduced. Only a purely malevolent soul suckled on a cactus would suggest that.

Perhaps discussion of government spending in political campaigns should be made an offense with mandatory prison time.

Or . . . we could tie all federal government employee salaries to a balanced budget. For every billion dollars the U.S. government goes into debt, salaries decrease by 1%. Unionized federal employees pay a surcharge on their taxes equal to the percentage by which their salaries exceed private sector salaries.

Or . . . congressional retirement plan = Social Security. Immediately.

We could get creative.

Or maybe not.

But, bottom line, friends, it is obvious, is it not, that what can't go on, won't? That the ballot box is not only not a safeguard against fiscal insanity, but its guarantee?

Soooo . . . to dot my i's and cross my t's, since the current descent can NOT be halted, given democratic imperatives now operating -- as witness the Great Debt Limit Kabuki Hoopla Ad Astra -- we shall descend then.

If you think it's going to end up looking like what we've got now, you'll be wrong. That's not an altogether bad thing, but the unpredictability of the future won't be easy to predict.

We're more likely to get a Leslie Clark than another George Washington, sad to say. But then, as with all cataclysmic events, the lightweights, the time servers, and the delusional are replaced by competent realists fairly quickly. Which is not to say people with morals, necessarily, just people, men probably, with competence and realism. We are dealing with human nature here.

That, human nature, was something the Framers tried to address in our Constitution so as to avoid despotism, but Americans didn't want to be bothered with that old rag. Not when the boodle was there for the taking.

Tax the rich! as our undocumented Marxist revolutionary freak for a president likes to say.

Notes
[1] RogertheSaint "comment on "The European dream lies in ruins. Europe's leaders seem incapable of solving the crisis unfolding in front of them." By Janet Daley, The Telegraph, 9/18/11 (paragraphs added).

4 comments:

Zenster said...

Or . . . we could tie all federal government employee salaries to a balanced budget. For every billion dollars the U.S. government goes into debt, salaries decrease by 1%. Unionized federal employees pay a surcharge on their taxes equal to the percentage by which their salaries exceed private sector salaries.

Zenster like!

Also, I have been saying for years that our politicians should be forced to retire on regular Social Security. Were that to happen, the entire debacle surrounding this one vital issue would get fixed up so fast it would make your head spin.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Zenster like? Now I know I've arrived.

:-)

We just have to tap into different feedback mechanisms. The remedy of elections for politician naughtiness has proved to be inadequate to the task. Disincentives for failure to measure up to unhideable metrics is the way to go.

Zenster said...

Col. B. Bunny: Zenster like? Now I know I've arrived.

Arrived? I should be so honored. Maybe in the ghetto of MSM's counterjihad rejects but you are most heartily welcomed, nonetheless.

Disincentives for failure to measure up to unhideable metrics is the way to go.

Two very politically unacceptable and incorrect words: Anders Breivik.

David said...

“In a democracy (‘rule by mob’), those who refuse to learn from history will be in the majority and dictate that everyone else suffer for their ignorance.”--third world county's corollary to Santayana's Axiom

To "ignorance" one might add "greed" but that's a corollary to a different axiom.