The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A New direction for Saturday

Today's post is a little experiment. I have recently dropped Saturdays as a post day because 5 posts a week seemed adequate and, to be honest, I am lazy. I suppose, if I was organized, I could set aside an hour or two each day to write the next day's post. The key phrase in the previous sentence is " if I was organized", next to my laziness disorganization is my strongest trait... Anyway, I have decided to try posting political commentary on Saturdays.

Politics is not about running governments or providing services. It is about power over people. It is about gaining that power and keeping it as long as possible. Think about it, you do not elect people to run the parks, pick up the garbage, maintain order, or see that there is clean water for your home. You elect people to oversee those services. You elect the bosses of those departments or to appoint bosses to those departments. For instance, when you vote for your county's Tax Collector you aren't really voting in the person who will send you a tax bill, are you? No, you are voting for the head of the Tax Collector's office. The person who will direct the activities of the office. The person who has direct power over the people who do the actual work involved.

Nobody runs for County Dogcatcher so he (or she) can chase animals down all day. No, they run for that position so they can have an office and tell other people to go out and chase animals.

The same goes for Congress. They do not run for the House or Senate so they can do the mundane office work of writing laws. No, they have staff to do that, they hire experts to do that work. They even hire staff to tell them what laws to have written by other staff members. Mainly, they want to sit in an office, have people come to them and just oversee this work.

At elections, therefore, we are simply deciding on bosses for departments and offices. Put another way, imagine you and your neighbors own a large grocery store in your neighborhood. You would go nuts hashing out all the little things that need to be done to make sure the operation is smooth and the widest variety of foods and associated products are available. So, instead, you hire someone to manage the store. That person then hires people to do the work that needs to be done each day so that the store runs efficiently and profitably.

This is what we do each election day. We hire the "store managers". Theoretically, we hire them on short term contracts and review their performance every few years. The problem is, we don't review their performance. We rely on others to do that for us.

Be honest. You have no idea what laws your Representatives have voted for or against. You probably don't know all the laws that have been passed in this year. You do know about the most controversial ones, of course, the ones the media talk about. The ones that people are surveyed about. But the less sexy ones? No. Very few of us pay that kind of attention. After all, that's why we elect those office holders.

And, therein lies the problem. We no longer pay much attention to what these people are doing until election campaigns start up. Even then, we really don't want to pay much attention. Understandable, I suppose, because it is a season of lies and counter-lies, of accusations and counter-charges, of obfuscation and hyperbolic promises and claims. So much of this that we begin tuning it out almost as it begins.

This is why we are in the current mess we are in. We'd like to blame the politicians but the truth is that we are at fault. We put them in office, we keep them in office, and we don't make sure they are performing as we intended or desired.

Next week: How and why it has turned out this way.

1 comment:

Charlotte Ann said...

A heads up here. I posted to my Facebook. You may start getting some views from just about anywhere!