Monday, July 10, 2006

Governments and politicians

If you haven't noticed, the primary purpose of government is to enlarge and accumulate wealth. Preferrably the wealth of it's citizens. This tendency begins at the local level and grows in magnitude as the it procedes to the Federal level.The reasons for this tendency are numerous but can be boiled down to two primary reasons. 1) By accumulating it's own workforce it generates a beholden class of voter that will support government's growth tendency because it's in their self-interest. 2) Money is power and without money a government is nothing. The important thing to remember is that government doesn't represent the people. Government responds the the presence of money as demonstrated by the large number of lobbyists making a living juicing the legislators. This "juice" takes the form of political donations in the case of "honest" policians or out-right bribes in the other case. Frankly, I have a hard time distinguishing between the two varieties. Getting re-elected is the most important issue in the life of a politician, most of their time is spent accumulating re-election funds or getting in the TV camera's eye. Once they make the grade of politician, a whole world opens up to them that is unavailable to the people paying the bills. Our esteemed Congress doesn't pay Social Security, it has it's own retirement plan paid out of current operating expenses by the taxpayer. They don't have to pay for their medical insurance and are entitled to other significant fringe benefits. How can they possibly represent the mass of Americans when they don't have the same basis of living. Issues like these are never pursued by the "fourth estate" because they will alienate the politicians who are not shy in wielding power when their roost is being threatened. Corruption in government is like an iceberg, only 10% sticks out for the public to see.
Behind all of this Government "crap" is the American public. The people who actually vote think that they are in some sort of a ballgame where they have to have voted for the winning team. A large percentage never vote because it becomes an exercise of the gray matter to determine the best candidate. And, of course, the lobbyists and "attack dogs" of both parties make determining the merits of the candidates nearly impossible.
The job of being a voter is never a casual exercise. It should not be given the light treatment that is so prevalent. Looking at a glossy piece of election propaganda is not insightful. Listening to the retoric doesn't help much either because it's all developed by PR people. The best process is to examine the track records and history because leopards seldom change their spots. Voting by party lines is a fools errand, party lines exist only for the present and fade when faced by reality. When,and If, the American voter wakes up the whole political scene can change.