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The American Preference for divided government
Posted by: McQ on Friday, August 10, 2007

Bruce Bartlett filling in for Andrew Sullivan today:
I have an article in this morning's Los Angeles Times that elaborates on my earlier post about how Hillary is becoming more acceptable to at least a few opinionmakers on the right.

Let me anticipate one criticism I always get when I talk about how Bill Clinton's administration ended up being pretty good on economic policy. I am told that is only because the Republicans got control of Congress in 1994 and thereafter checked his excesses, such as the effort to nationalize health care that was run by Hillary.

This is quite true. Left to his own devices with a Democratic Congress for 8 years, I have no doubt that Bill would have been a far worse president from a conservative viewpoint. This is why I have been harping on the dismal chances the Republicans have for keeping the White House. If they recognize that this just isn't going to happen, then maybe the party can pour some extra resources into some congressional races and try to win seats that were lost in 2006.

Earlier, I quoted political scientist Larry Sabato as saying—correctly in my view—that the American people like gridlock. They don't trust either party to run the whole show. And frankly, the 2000-2006 experience of a Republican Congress and a Republican president is strong evidence in favor of divided party control.
I've become convinced gridlock is not only good, it is necessary. That comes under the heading of "pragmatism". As Bartlett rightly points out, I don't trust either party to run the whole show and divided government actually does impose a defacto check and balance as we've seen here lately. And Republicans only seem to act like Republicans when they're in the minority or when the government is split.

So while I'd prefer a Republican in the White House because of the probable upcoming Supreme Court nominations, the minimum acceptable is a split Congress (although even the very closely divided Senate as it now exists might do).

If one of the parties is in a majority in both the legislative and executive branches, I have no faith that party will do what is necessary to get government out of our lives and wallets, and that includes the Republicans.

I took a lot of grief when I made this point prior to the '06 mid-term but frankly it has worked out rather well as I see it. Bush is actually vetoing suspect legislation and the Republicans in the Senate are acting as a brake against Democratic excess and slowing down the legislative steam roller to some extent. Split ticket voting is a "good thing" if we want to have any chance at all of slowing down leviathan's growth. Some will argue that the inevitable will still happen and I will offer the counter that that isn't at all necessarily true.

I concede that when you have a majority of citizens who believe that there is such a thing as a "free lunch", then it presents a problem. But with the new media and the ability to now mount extended and coherent arguments against that belief with facts and figures, I have some hope that enough can be convinced to change that attitude. If not, obviously, we're sunk. But with divided government - gridlock - that chance is much more available than when you have a single party in power with the ability to ram through legislation, no matter how intrusive or expensive, at will.
 
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I agree and one needn’t look any further than Bill Clinton’s Arkansas or Ted Steven’s Alaska. I really think the outcome is not a bullying government, concerned with it’s political agenda, but a corrupt government.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
one needn’t look any further than Bill Clinton’s Arkansas or Ted Steven’s Alaska
Or Illinois...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Again just as I said in 2006 I say again, Gridlock is only the second best place...Nothing gets done. Ok, but that means NOTHING gets done. Taxes are going to increase in 2010, because the tax cuts were only temporary...if nothing gets done, your taxes increase in 3 years. Social Security and Medicare, your bug-a-boos are still going bankrupt, if nothing gets done the problem(s) don’t get solved. Gridlock is for folks who don’t believe they can win. Sure if you can’t win, then frustrating your opponent’s plan is a viable strategy.

Me, I’d like to see a Libertarian-Conservative position advance. Gridlock sucks! Nothing gets done is NOT a strategy it’s an outcome, just like compromise and bi-partisanship are not ends in and of themselves, they simply are the means to achieve ends. Nothing gets done because neither side has the strength to push thru, that’s an outcome, not a strategy. Eventually SOMETHING must get done...you don’t have to like it, but in 1932 and 1964 things got done. If you want a Conservative/Libertarian Great Society/New Deal SOMETHING has to get done.

Lastly President Hillary with a Republican Congress, domestically, taxes may or may not rise...Entitlements don’t get reformed....Foreign Policy, Iraq and Afghanistan get abandoned and Iran and North Korea are left to "diplomacy". McQ things get done, bad things. Grid lock doesn’t really mean things don’t get done.

Bottom-line: You represent a minority position, that does not see itself ever running the country. As such you prefer that nothing get done, if it can’t be what you want. Instead, change your beliefs OR change the beliefs of the voting public. I D@mn well bet when you represent 30-40% of the voters, you won’t like gridlock!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Gridlock is best when two parties essentially represent big contributors to campaigns, and use polls, focus groups and sound bites to determine policies.

Power corrupts. It’s best to change parties and people in Congress and the Presidency rather often.

But better would be to actually address the problems and make needed changes. For that I think you need a centrist, pragmatic approach that can get bi-partisan support (though the wings of each party might oppose it). That’s possible.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Sully’s on vacation. The post is by Bruce Bartlett.
 
Written By: James Joyner
URL: http://outsidethebeltway.com
But better would be to actually address the problems and make needed changes. For that I think you need a centrist, pragmatic approach that can get bi-partisan support (though the wings of each party might oppose it). That’s possible.
Again you confuse an outcome with an end....The New Deal and the Great Society weren’t "centrist approaches" they changed how things were done in America. That it took 30 years for "progressives" to create the New Deal and then another 30 years to carry forward the Great Society doesn’t mean they were centrists it simply means they lacked the ability to carry thru their plans.

Again gridlock and compromise are simply outcomes of the US system of governance, but don’t confuse them with desirable endstates. And mind you I like the US system, it forces parties and belief systems to fight to achieve their goals. There’s no "Gleichshaltung" to come along and reorder the status quo overnight. But eventually one side or the other achieves an electoral dominance and reorders the political economy to it’s tastes. That’s not centrism.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Ah, thanks James, no wonder I agreed. ;)

Edited.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Gridlock is great, until you need to do something important.

Like "fix" social security, or fight a war.

Then you need a leader with cojones...

I just find the prospect of Hillary being President frightening...

Not because she’s a woman...

Not because she’s a Democrat...

Mostly because she’s a Clinton.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"But with divided government - gridlock - that chance is much more available than when you have a single party in power with the ability to ram through legislation, no matter how intrusive or expensive, at will." - McQ
Me, I’d like to see a Libertarian-Conservative position advance. Gridlock sucks! - Joe
These are not mutually exclusive. In fact, supporting divided government can be the vehicle to accomplish the advancement of a "Liber-Con position". The argument: advancing an agenda requires a predictable voting block, a voting block requires organization or an organizing principle [or a politically meaningful party, which the LP fails to deliver], divided government is an easily understood organizing principle for an otherwise un-organizable libertarian swing vote [broad CATO definion].Once organized and recognized, it attracts pandering R and D candidates.

Anyway, my blog was created as platform for promoting "Divided Government" ideas since I started in 04/06 - not quited as long as McQ has been advocating the concept here, but for anyone interested exploring the concept, there are quite few links to scholarship and articles on the the topic.

This following is a comment in response to a recent post on just this subject:"Curing Libertarian Electile Dsyfunction". Sorry about the length of this comment, but I get overly excited whenever anyone else writes about this stuff.
This voting heuristic only works when it is completely obvious how to vote. The divided government vote was obvious in 2006 and it is obvious in 2008. If it is not obvious, if reasonable people can argue about what the correct "divided government" vote is, then there is no "divided government" vote. So that opens the door for one circumstance that the libertarian block goes "protest vote" or "free agent".

There are other situations where it will be completely obvious that there is absolutely no divided government vote. The Dems structural advantage in the Senate race in ’08 will flip to an advantage for the Republicans in 2010. There is a reasonable probability that they can retake the Senate then. Should that happen and the Dems hold the House we will go to 2012 with a divided congress which means the presidential vote in 2012 will have no divided government preference (again assuming that historical incumbent advantages hold). It does not matter which party the president belongs to, as the government will still be divided.

I suppose one could postulate that if this meme were to evolve into a tightly organized and highly sophisticated voting block, it could become very granular and work to maintain a divided congress at all times, so the presidential vote would always be "free-agent", "best-man", lesser-of-two-evils", most libertarian, whatever. But that is getting pretty far-fetched, even for me.

Finally, I hesitate to call this a strategy (although I do) and am usually looking for another word (tactic, heuristic, meme) to describe it. Reason being, I see this primarily as a short-term and self-limiting. Although maintaining divided government has real benefits in terms of governance, the primary benefit of successfully implementing this tactic is to establish libertarians as a self-aware, broadly recognized and organized voting block. Objectively, divided government only slows the growth of the state, with no evidence that it can actually begin to reduce it. I guess one way to describe it is that the Divided Government vote stands down when the Libertarian vote stands up.

Ultimately, if the divided government constituency is co-opted and eroded because Dems and Reps are wrestling with each other to prove who are the better, more effective libertarians, and can prove this to the skeptical, rational, empirical libertarian swing vote ... well then our job here is done.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
You represent a minority position, that does not see itself ever running the country.
I think he made it clear that he feels (and history shows this to be true) that when conservatives were in power, they stopped be conservatives and became big government, big spenders, the only difference between them and liberal being what they spent on.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Indy writes:
I just find the prospect of Hillary being President frightening...
Hillary is a Marxist. Her husband, by contrast, didn’t believe in anything, though his reset position took him automatically to the liberal dictum of the hour. She was his ideology officer, and he was "happy" to accomodate her when he needed her. Less happy to do so when her grab for the one-seventh of the economy constituted by the health-care industry helped sweep the GOP into control of the Congress and threatened him with defeat for a second term. She was faded into the background for a good while after her authentically Stalinist plan was defeated (I always said that Hillary Care offered a bureaucracy that would have made members of the old Soviet Politburo gag).

So, Bruce Bartlett writes: "Hillary is becoming more acceptable to at least a few opinionmakers on the right." What I think he’s talking about is those who think that Hillary will do the right thing and make sure that the corporate rent-seekers (I hate that term) are well taken care of. She probably will. We’ll get more and more of the European model, and the European model is a death trap.

As to divided government being a solution for the hazardous course of government in the U.S., that was the last war. The disease is now spread fully to the states and down into their municipalities, and spread through the population by the public schools. As Billy Beck observes, we now have generations bred to the cannibal pot.

Samuel P. Huntington says that the decline of great societies is marked by "the distribution of advantages to the greatest number of people to the disadvantage of all." (That’s approximate.) We’ve already passed some of the more serious markers on that road, and the "health-care solution," whether a compromise between the parties to the "divided government" or the "achievment" of one party or the other, is probably the point of no return for our beloved United States of America.

The way back out, if there is a way back out, of this dilemma, which as I pointed out has now taken root in the states such that national solutions cannot be the sole answer, is to get Americans, via grassroots inspiration, to take pride again in freedom, such that they won’t allow their property to be confiscated via property taxes at the local level, won’t allow their freedom to be confiscated by regulators at the state and federal level, and won’t expect or allow anyone to "take care" of them.

That’s one tall bloody order there. Freedom is hard, but is it really any harder than being stuffed into the soviet trunk?

Bruce Bartlett’s observation of Hillary’s appeal to those certain few "opinionmakers on the right" should send a chill along the spine. That sort of thing has a long history "on the right." Remember Whittaker Chambers recounting the observation that in America the workers are the capitalists and the rich are the Communists.

 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
And yet what do my quote and your quote have to do one with the other, Captin? McQ is a libertarian, a minority position and as a Neo-Libertarian he stakes a minority position within that policy space. My point being that McQ represents about 1-10% of the voting public, and as such is powerless to advance his agenda. THERFORE, gridlock looks good. Let him have 30-40% of the voting populace and gridlock sucks, because he could achieve something.

My further point then being the goal is not advocacy of gridlock but advocacy of McQ’s political/policy positions.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Power corrupts. It’s best to change parties and people in Congress and the Presidency rather often.
I agree with you Scott - with the caveat that if we change the ’faces’ frequently, then we’re empowering the bureaucrats. Any ideas on how we can avoid having life long ’government workers’ calling the shots? I mean, they are more secure in their jobs than someone such as yourself (tenured I presume?).
they stopped be conservatives and became big government, big spenders, the only difference between them and liberal being what they spent on.
Yep - Cap is right on about McQ’s post. To me, the approach that needs to come first is transparency. Let’s see what is getting spent and by whom.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
I don’t have the same philosophy about the role of government as libertarians, I am bit more liberal than that, and I have the opposite philosophy of conservatives on many social issues, mine being more libertarian, but all that is really irrelevant since our government does not, and has not for a long, long time, been run based on philosophical ideas.

Job one should be placing the government under a microscope, reversing the trend of the government placing US under a microscope.

I am generally opposed to any new laws, we have too many already, enough that if applied strictly, every man, woman, and probably child, could be found guilty of some felony. But there are a few new laws I would support, all of them being to outlaw our government representatives from acting in dubious interests. I would not be opposed to law that made the appearance of impropriety enough to force an elected representative to resign.

Transparency, complete and total. That’s what we need. Let’s wiretap THOSE guys!

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Meagain — good point on bureaucrats. The only way I can see to really change things is to shift governance to more local control, where transparency is real. That, alas, would require a complete reversal of 60 years or so of increased centralization, supported by Supreme Court decisions that have weakened state authroity considerably. Maybe if we’d get a President who would focus on bringing transparency to the Executive branch a priority. But you have a big powerful government — and I’d say especially one with the kind of foreign policy we have, which is global in reach — we’ll get corruption and lack of transparency.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"But with the new media and the ability to now mount extended and coherent arguments against that belief with facts and figures, I have some hope that enough can be convinced to change that attitude."
Noted, Bruce.

I expect to be in ATL, September 29. I would consider it a favor to be able to laugh straight at you eye-to-eye over this, and expound on why "gridlock" is an extraordinarily dangerous delusion.

Look, Bruce: what this theory never considers is the ground lost to socialism already, the murder it’s doing every single day, and how it never gets corrected. Already, the conceptual institutions that could save this whole project are moribund, and "gridlock" never addresses this.

What you’re arguing for is stagnation of destruction at its current pace. That’s utterly hopeless in any case, because of the nature of what’s usually called "compromise" in these affairs. The left is always going to make way, and there is no "gridlock", in the end.


I love ya, man, Christ knows I do, but this is craven intellectual incompetence and political impotence.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Ps. — So far, this is the very first time I’ve ever seen Joe talking anything like good sense.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
One other point. While I agree completely with Bartlett’s perspective on divided government, there is a problem with his application of the concept when he advises Republicans to focus on retaking the House in 2008. The problem is he is flying in the face of history. In the 100 years since we have been electing senators directly, the House of Representatives has never switched majority unless the Senate did also. "Never" as in "not even once". The closest we came was in 2006, when it looked like the House would flip while the Senate stayed Republican. Arguably, one could claim the Senate did not flip since Lieberman is an independent - but he does caucus Dem, so there you go. It didn’t happen. I now believe this is a law of politics like gravity is a force of nature. There are 33 Senate seats contested in 2008. Of these, 21 are held by Republicans and 12 by Democrats. Simple numbers - the Republicans have a lot more at risk, and will be playing defense. The Democrats have many more opportunities to take seats than Republicans. Advantage Democrats. Big, big advantage. It is possible of course, for history to be rewritten in 2008, but the best and perhaps only chance for the continuation of divided government, is if the Republicans can hold the White House.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
And yet what do my quote and your quote have to do one with the other, Captin? McQ is a libertarian...
Libertarian, small government conservative, take out the Bible and they are the same thing.

The point is that libertarians vote for conservatives because conservatives make certain promises as to what they will do with power, and these promises appeal to libertarians for the most part, and then when they are given power, they do the exact opposite.



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Gridlock doesn’t really work. What we have are two political groupings fighting for the power to order everyone else around, and the power to do what they want with everyone else’s property. They have different ideas of what they want to do with that power, but it’s the ability [I was about to say "the right", but no right is involved here] to use that power they are after, and everything else is secondary.

To refer to Mr. Beck’s image of the cannibal pot, we may not be able to train the cannibals to be vegetarians, but we should at least try to break the pot so they can’t cook long pig any more. (Of course, they will probably try to eat it raw. In which case prepare to knock out their teeth.)
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://

Look, Bruce: what this theory never considers is the ground lost to socialism already, the murder it’s doing every single day, and how it never gets corrected. Already, the conceptual institutions that could save this whole project are moribund, and "gridlock" never addresses this.
Billy, I’m sometimes amazed by how your ideology causes you to so completely misunderstand the nature of politics in America. You’re so blinded by ideology that you don’t understand the true nature of the problem. It’s not "socialism" but corruption and lack of transparency. The right and left both are in bed with big money — banks, big corporations, etc. The problem is that big money wants to be protected and get advantages from the government — they would prefer to be immune from having to deal with the true challenges of market competition. They will certainly never embrace socialism, and the left has been moving away from socialism in Europe and the US for decades — socialism doesn’t work economically, and certainly isn’t beneficial to big money.

The only real solution is smaller government — closer to the people. The more you centralize power, the more the desire to hold it and abuse it. But it won’t go socialist — in fact I suspect you’ll see it reach a point like it has in Europe where tax cuts and decreased regulation becomes a necessity (countries like Ireland, the UK under Thatcher, Reagan in the US, reforms in Scandinavia etc.) In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact Iraq essentially derailed Bush’s Presidency and doomed his domestic program, you might have seen interesting things in his ideas of an ’ownership society.’

So put aside your idea of a battle of the "isms," whether its socialism vs. communism or individualism vs. collectivism. That leads you to completely misunderstand the situation and simplify it to a point that you merely interpret reality through the prism of your beliefs. When confronted with tough questions and alternates, you seem unable to take them on unless you redefine them to terms and concepts that fit within your pre-existing ideological perspective. That way you stack the deck to assure that you can always reaffirm your position. Then you defend against having to take other ideas seriously by relying on bluster and insult to create so much noise that real ideas are pushed aside. But that’s OK — you aren’t hurting anyone but yourself.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"It’s not ’socialism’ but corruption and lack of transparency."
No, it’s not, Erb. I see right through you, and you are thoroughly corrupt.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Out of a mass of blathering from Boris Erb this brief, homely statement is indicative:
The only real solution is smaller government — closer to the people.
Boris doesn’t understand, and never has, how the American system of government works. He ignores the system of dual sovereignty. The prominence of the states in most areas of law, and how power in the states is divided among counties and then among municipalities, so that government in the U.S. is designed to be on par with the matters appropriate to each level. Municipalities don’t fight wars and the federal government doesn’t run local police departments and school districts.

But here’s the point: socialism has infected every level of government in the U.S. It is perhaps at its very worst at the level of local school districts. It’s the very idea that government is culture, nearly now a substitute for religion in so many areas.

Boris teaches this stuff, even though he doesn’t know a damn thing about it.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
No, Billy, I see through you. Challenging that which you believe would mean questioning the very way you’ve lived your life, and where you are now. You can’t afford to do that. So you raise a smokescreen of insult, derision and bluster to protect yourself. That’s fine. But you’ll grow more if you put that superfluous stuff aside and actually engage ideas and beliefs different than you’re own.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris "the barrel of eels" Erb writes:
Challenging that which you believe would mean questioning the very way you’ve lived your life, and where you are now. You can’t afford to do that.
When you say "can’t afford," Boris, are you saying that it would cost Beck more if he considered living less in accordance with his principles?

And as to your new "libertarian" pragmatism, is that new found love of liberty going to be more or less pragmatic when it comes to your guaranteed lifetime on your tenured public tit? How about the pension?

Shouldn’t the taxpayers of Maine at least have a shot at yanking the lemonade stand Ward Churchill of the feeding tube?

Or does that new found love of liberty still run down the Left side of the street, where you can make your way into the government funded espressor bar and sit up all night complaining about the government?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I’m far from convinced, because of two points:

First, let’s look at Gridlock, and how, supposedly, we get there, because what we have at the moment, demonstrably is not.

It seems to me that we are going about this based on the idea that a 50% democrat 50% republican mix, is going to achieve gridlock. I would suggest to you that nothing could be farther from the truth, given the number of liberal republicans that we are dealing with. John McCain being one. Arlen Spector, Lincoln Chaffee, and so on.

You see, the problem, is not so much the parties involved, though that he is a decent indicator, the problem is the underlying principles for each individual. Those are not necessarily reflected by the party label.

The result is a 50/50 balance of democrats to republicans is not going to be enough to halt the tilt to the left. Moreover after 60 years and more of democrat dominated legislatures, even a small republican majority is not going to be enough to overcome the leftist tool that has been established, or even slow it down , given the number of liberal republicans still in the mix.

(An aside: There is a level of amusement, about these comments, having their genesis on the website of Sullivan.. someone whose claims of being a conservative have had their credibility stretched beyond all belief. )

As an example of how going 50/50 doesn’t solve the issue, let’s look at the output of the most recent session of Congress.

An increase of the minimum wage. A very very watered down ethics bill. A Federal budget that’s approximately ten times what President Bush wants, and he being no skinflint himself. Extraordinarily stupid CAFE regulations, which will finish the job of killing off the American auto industry. Tell me again about how this is gridlock.

Second, let’s attack the issue of whether not gridlock, precisely, assuming that it’s even a cheap of all, is what is needed.

Here, Billy Beck and myself would appear to be on the same page, pretty much, where he says:
What you’re arguing for is stagnation of destruction at its current pace. That’s utterly hopeless in any case, because of the nature of what’s usually called "compromise" in these affairs. The left is always going to make way, and there is no "gridlock", in the end.
For my own part, I say gridlock a nice first step, but it’s not really what’s needed. what is needed, is repair. There is an old adage, which says you cannot get ahead, if you spend all your time getting even. So it is here. After 60 years and more of leftist dominated legislatures, what is needed is an equal time to the right. In short, repair of the damage. Gridlock even assuming we can achieve it, (and as I have suggested I don’t think we can given the current methods) far from providing that, is going to prevent it.

The one idea that has never been tried is a dominant republican majority. Large enough, so that the republican leadership is not beholden to its own left. I say, that is precisely what is necessary, now. But I also maintain, that that goal is impossible, if what we’re shooting for is "balance".
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Scott Erb:
Billy, I’m sometimes amazed by how your ideology causes you to so completely misunderstand the nature of politics in America. You’re so blinded by ideology that you don’t understand the true nature of the problem. It’s not "socialism" but corruption and lack of transparency. The right and left both are in bed with big money — banks, big corporations, etc. The problem is that big money wants to be protected and get advantages from the government — they would prefer to be immune from having to deal with the true challenges of market competition. They will certainly never embrace socialism, and the left has been moving away from socialism in Europe and the US for decades — socialism doesn’t work economically, and certainly isn’t beneficial to big money.
So "Big Money" wants to get benefits from government. What about voters who want additional taxes for schools, increased minimum wage, smoking bans in restaurants, universal healthcare, etc.? How are they different from "Big Money" in that regard?
 
Written By: Cecil H. Herline III
URL: http://
So "Big Money" wants to get benefits from government. What about voters who want additional taxes for schools, increased minimum wage, smoking bans in restaurants, universal healthcare, etc.? How are they different from "Big Money" in that regard?
The main difference is they usually don’t have the same kind of access to those in power. But you make a good point, a lot of people don’t realize big money should be criticized by the same people who criticize big government social programs.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The main difference is they usually don’t have the same kind of access to those in power.
They don’t?
Then how do such things as Cecil mentions come into being, Erb?

Is it possible even just a different kind of big money? Unions, for example. George Soros, for example. Trial lawyers, for example.

Or is there, in your view, only big money amongst those of the right?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The main difference is they usually don’t have the same kind of access to those in power. But you make a good point, a lot of people don’t realize big money should be criticized by the same people who criticize big government social programs.
And likewise, those who criticize "Big Money" for "corrupting" government should also criticize any voters who expand government into people’s lives. With that said, I don’t see how "corruption" could be the central problem of government.
 
Written By: Cecil H. Herline III
URL: http://
The only way I can see to really change things is to shift governance to more local control, where transparency is real.
Local control doesn’t necessarily lead to more transparency.

Ask most anyone in Indiana how property taxes are figured out, and you’ll likely get a blank stare.

Also, local governments can be authoritarian in their own right. Look at some homeowners associations as an example of local governance gone wrong.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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Vicious Capitalism

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Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

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