Monday, August 22, 2011


"Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?"
Milton Friedman

Friday I wrote about the dilemma facing politicians: we have to cut spending, but to do so means firing a lot of federal employees. Most folks have focused on the black portion, possibly prompted by the Black Future title, but the truth is the jobs part is the most problematic.

Blacks are a small voting bloc, compared to other demographics such as Hispanics in America. They aren't as powerful or significant as they once were, and since they vote Democrat with a gigantic margin every year, even less significant; its not like Republicans are going to really suffer much by annoying blacks.

The biggest problem for politicians in this dilemma is more subtle. I think America will burn if any cuts are attempted but that's not the real problem for politicians. The problem is that in a horrible jobs economy, they're forced to either cut jobs or collapse the US economy. Now, its true that a destroyed US economy and default to China would cost even more jobs and cause even more hardship, but from a political perspective that's not much comfort.

Not only is "well we did less damage than we could have" weak tea, but the eventual collapse is delayed in the future some time, perhaps in someone else's political career, and the jobs lost from cuts would happen in the short term, hurting their political career. Since nearly every congressman that retires does so with a seven-figure income and often into a cushy no-work job for some defense contractor, that's tough to give up.

So we have to rely on politicians to go against their personal self interest and greed, avoid their tendency toward soft corruption, and vote to harm their political careers for the good of their constitutents, who will likely view this as bad.

Who do you figure is going to do that? Sure, there's good indication that a lot of the Tea Party Movement elected guys are willing to, but they make up a very small portion of congress. Most of the rest are hard core career politicians who make a living out of being a politician, not a public servant. They aren't representatives so much as parasites in office, bleeding the public for their personal gain. Those people will not vote for something that does them significant harm, politically speaking.

The fact that this will also enrage blacks and fill the legacy media with stories of black woe - a story already waiting to happen should President Obama be tossed out of power - is icing on the cake. America burning isn't the primary concern for these guys, it won't happen in their neighborhoods and most of them don't come from big urban centers anyway.

The dilemma really isn't one, when we come down to it. They won't do it. The time to fix this was several congresses ago; perhaps as far back as Reagan. The Contract With America congress had their chance and they blew it by caving in and failing to carry out what they'd been contracted to do. Every succeeding congress compounded the problem until I see no positive way out of this.

It isn't that a collapsing America is the end of the world, or that there would be no possible benefit, but that I'd prefer it not to happen to all those working families, the elderly, the handicapped, the poor, the orphan, and the widow, because they are the ones who will suffer the most. And the sick, bitter irony is that this all came about specifically because of misguided efforts to help those very people. Sort of like giving someone Typhus when you were trying to cure their mild sniffles. They might have felt better for a while, until the real disease kicked in.

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