Thursday, June 11, 2009

What is it?

So what is it that makes governments dysfunctional?

I live in New York. Before that I lived in California. I love New York--the whole state, and I do look on California as the Promised land. But if you look at their governments right now you have to say they are both a mess. In New York, a one seat majority for the democrats on Monday turned into a one seat majority for the republicans, with turn-coat democrats taking part in a coup. In California, voters continue to pass initiatives that demand services without passing the taxes necessary to pay for them, bankrupting the state. This has been going on since Proposition 13. I guess the New York problem occurs whenever the party in power has a razor thin majority. I remember when Willie Brown was speaker of the house and the Republicans thought they were going to oust him, until, in the vote for a new speaker, one republican voted for Brown, taking everyone but Willie by surprise. When the tallys are close horse trading can occur that can shift power from one party to another.

I really don't want to talk about Cali.

Could it in fact be that every system, every form of government, every political party, just like every economic theory, eventually collapses in on itself, as fresh ideas become dogmatic and reforms create new avenues of excess? This is certainly what happened (rather quickly) to communism.

I don't know.

I believe in liberal democracy. Don't I? I mean, I believe in the state as an engine for positive change. I believe that "We The People" means exactly that, that the government is the people. I believe in majority rule. And I believe in the Bill of Rights (all ten amendments, not just nine like some people). But look at what democracy has wrought in New York and California. One is a circus and the other about to become a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

Of course, Churchill was right. Look at the alternatives.


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