Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why politicians don't cut spending

This excellent video explains, concisely and accurately, the so-called 'tragedy of the commons' in modern parlance (where it's more specifically referred to as the 'concentrated benefits and dispersed costs' conundrum).  It explains the reality behind Washington's current budget and spending impasse.

That's why it won't help to vote out the Democratic Party and replace it with the Republican Party, and/or vice versa.  Both parties are inextricably bound up with this problem, and neither is willing to make the hard (and electorally costly) decisions required to fix the situation.

Rather than change parties in mid-problem, we need to replace individual politicians, one at a time, with people who are more honest and upright . . . then pray they stay that way while we try to elect more of them!  Inevitably, of course, those who most benefit from the status quo will try to draw the newly-elected 'good guys' into their web, even as we're trying to find more of them.  It's a struggle with no end - and one we may never win, depressing though that thought may be.

Perhaps the only solution is to let the status quo break down - as it inevitably will, IMHO - and then replace it with something better while we pick up the pieces.  Trouble is, some of us will end up among the broken pieces . . .


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But it's more then lobbyists who are aware. The voters take part in the tragedy of the commons. The folks living in flood plains want the federal insurance. The folks who watch the dairy commission ads want the "high quality less expensive milk" I think (sadly) individuals at the base are very much involved in this tragedy and pushing it downhill. Sure, they may not notice the penny, but they really want the promised bene and that's part of this cycle too IMO. -BoydK