The Wonders of Democracy
By Arnold Kling
Some random thoughts.
1. In my county, and in many locations in the U.S., we have had one-party government for longer than the Communists had control of Eastern Europe.
2. In spite of the fact that Congressional approval ratings are down near single-digit levels, all of the current committee chairmen will be restored to power, and in fact they will be strengthened.
3. As long as a majority of people in Massachusetts vote to keep the income tax, everyone in Massachusetts will have to continue to pay the tax.
4. After the election, the new President will be viewed as having a “mandate” to enact policies (including policies that were never proposed during the campaign). Meanwhile, the vast majority of voters are expressing their identity, not their policy preferences.
5. The mainstream narrative is that democracy expresses the collective will of the people. Leaders take this collective will and translate it into policy. That narrative supposedly legitimates the process. The collective will always turns out to be against what I believe.
6. Under democracy, politicians get to control hundreds of billions of dollars of our money and enact intrusive regulations on our businesses and our lives. We get to go out every four years and vote.
7. How valuable is the right to vote? I would trade the right to vote for any number of economic rights, such as the right to exit the Social Security system or the right to send my tax dollars to the charity of my choice rather than the charity of Henry Paulson’s choice. Heck, I would trade the right to vote for a right to teach in any school without getting a teaching degree.