Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Beyond Quick Fixes

We seem culturally opposed to long-term solutions.  Our healthcare system is dramatically underperforming, as is our education system.  Perhaps an infusion of targeted incentives would fix things.  It hasn’t and won’t.  The consequences of climate change and global warming include fires, storms and flooding that are massively destructive.  We provide billions of dollars in disaster […]

Another Day in the Neighborhood

So, what’s going on?  The Covid 19 pandemic still kills about 500 people per day.  Monkey pox is surging.  The chronicle of the January 6th insurrection continues to astonish.  Hordes of classified documents are turning up in Florida.  Roe v. Wade was overturned.  Inflation is frustrating, and the Fed is trying to cool the economy.  […]

Two Countries

I recently read Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized (Simon & Schuster, 2021).  He provides a profound analysis of identity politics, ranging from white supremacy to the politics of rage.  He provides suggested “corrections” that might ease this tension. However, consider another scenario.  The 25 states supporting Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 agree to become […]

Bringing Democracy Back

It seems that everyone in the country, from both the right and left, feels that the US is headed in bad directions.  The Supreme Court seems totally committed to States Rights as envisioned in the early 19th century.  Each state can make its own decisions on abortion, the environment, sexual equality and voting rights.  The […]

Emerging Crises

I recently read Serhii Plokhy’s Atoms & Ashes (Norton, 2022), a chronicle of six nuclear disasters over several decades in America, England, Japan, and Russia, three in the military and three in electric utilities.  In all six cases, the consequences of the disaster were much worse than expected and governments did their best to cover […]

Democracy at Risk

Where are we headed as a country?  We were once – at least we thought – the shiny exemplar of liberal democracy.  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were our themes.  We understood that there would be conflicts in these pursuits, but we would work it out.  Reasonable adversaries would discuss and debates paths […]

Appealing to Voters

Quite simplistically, assume that there are two populations of voters: X: A population that can easily be manipulated in terms of values, concerns, perceptions and decisions about consumption, health, education, and votes. Y: A population that reflects on what is knowable, explainable, and predictive, consciously deciding what is believable and the consequences for decision making. […]

Manipulation

I find it very interesting how easily people are convinced to behave in ways in conflict with their own self interests.  Advertisements for low-quality junk foods and vehicles that really will not increase your sex appeal are good examples. Advertisements for prescription drugs that may benefit a few, but are not beneficial for most people […]

Societal Allocation of Resources

With the proposed FY 2023 federal budget, government expenditures will grow to roughly 23% of the $26 trillion US Gross Domestic Product. Even with the proposed substantial annual tax increases on high-earners’ incomes, the offsetting tax revenues are insufficient to avoid a perpetual trillion dollar deficit each year, amounting to 5% of US GDP. This […]

The Election Follies

Now that Members of Congress no longer have legislative responsibilities, they have become very creative in how they pursue reelection.  Some play it straight in the sense that they pretend to be serious about eliminating immigration, deporting anyone in the US whose family has been here less than three generations, and gutting K-12 curricula to […]

Running for Election

Members of Congress have only one objective – getting reelected.  Their every utterance is focused on appealing to the voters that can get them through the primaries, if necessary, and winning in the general elections.  Many also have aspirations for higher offices.  Most have absolutely no interest in policy discussions and debates.  They have concluded […]