Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why Politics is a Ruse

In my favorite author's latest book, A Beautiful Anarchy, a few chapters look at the book and movie (or is it a tv series?), The Hunger Games.

Apparently, in The Hunger Games the world exists with a large government that occupies and distracts its populace with games of watching selected young people fight each other to the death. 

The rest of the population spends much of its time talking about and paying attention to this event.  They think about their guy's chances against another place's guy in this event.  They cheer their guy and boo his opponents.

All this is done so that the population will be too distracted to think about the real impediment in their lives, the government that arranges all of this.

A few quotes from a post at Foseti about working for the government:
We spend inordinate amounts of time and money determining who will occupy short-term elected positions in government. Once there, people make a living thinking about what these politicians should be doing. On the other hand, we spend almost no time thinking about who will permanently occupy the bureaucratic positions that are actually responsible for implementing governance.

The vast majority of the employees of the government, like me, are unelected and – for all intents and purposes – cannot be fired. Focusing on the 0.0001% of government employees that get elected (obviously!) misses the remaining 99.9999%. Virtually everyone thinks that its possible to "change" government while maintaining 99.9999% of its employees. This belief is obviously retarded.
During the presidential elections we often hear it called a "horse race."  Everybody likes his guy, at least becasue he's "least bad," and boos his guy's opponent. 

The presidential election is run more similarly to American Idol rather than an actual situation where we pick the best person to run the executive branch of our government.  And as Foseti says, no matter who is elected the people who make the rules will stay right where they are:
When we are taught how laws are made, we’re told something like: someone writes a bill, both houses of Congress vote on the bill, if it passes it’s signed by the President and then it’s law at which point it might be interpreted by the courts.

This is correct as far as it goes. However, have you ever asked yourself who that "someone" is who’s writing the bills? Seems like a powerful position, no? That someone is generally unelected and cannot be fired.

The common story also doesn’t go far enough. Regulations are now, by any serious metric, more important than laws. Regulations are written and implemented by agencies, often with little or no judicial oversight. Modern laws aren’t even really laws anymore, they’re just lists of regulations that Congress hopes agencies will implement.
Even if Romney had been elected, how much different would any of the Federal Agencies look?  Do you actually think something like the IRS would have been eliminated?


How much time is spent discussing things like elections and major laws?  Why do we, in comparison, ignore the "little" regululaitons that dictate every aspect of our lives?

Like The Hunger Games, politics, and the discussion of politics, is a distraction from the fact that no matter who is elected, no mater what their campaign promises, we will have government laws, rules, and regulations dictating how fast we can drive, how old we must be to buy guns, OSHA laws, EPA restrictions, residency requirements, federal, state, and local taxes, ......

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