In despair of democracy

[The Telegraph, U.K.]

 

 

Der Standard, Austria

In Despair Over Democracy - Both America's and Ours

 

"Any halfway intelligent citizen should realize that the populist resistance of Tea Party leaders Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, as well as the opposition of Democrats to Obama, is nonsensical in terms of economic policy. Ö The majority of Americans will probably vote against their own interests and those of their country in November. Unfortunately, that's not unusual."

 

By Krisen Frey

 

Translated Carol Goetzky

 

August 29, 2010

 

Austria - Der Standard - Original Article (German)

Glenn Beck rallies his faithful at the Lincoln Memorial: Hopelessly misguided - or is he onto something?

 

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Glenn Beck rally draws comments on faith and government, August 29, 00:03:23 RealVideo

Whether it's in the U.S. or Austria - the will of the majority often leads to destructively economic and political decisions. Democracy is undoubtedly the best - or more precisely the least worst - of all possible forms of government. But sometimes even this can lead one to despair.

 

Take the U.S.: Democrats under President Barack Obama are headed for a crushing defeat in the upcoming Congressional elections. Blame the poor economy and high unemployment. The crisis is something Obama inherited from his predecessor George W. Bush. Obama countered with economic stimulus packages, which haven't sufficiently resolved the issue.

 

If Obama made a mistake, it was that he should've spent even more and increased the deficit further - even if it is already at ten percent of GDP. But politically, that was simply impossible.

 

What's so bizarre is that opposition to Obama, rather than coming from the left due to high unemployment and unfulfilled demands to further stimulate the economy - it is coming from the right. Obama is being blamed for high unemployment and deficits. He is held responsible for both the problem and the remedial action that had to be taken, such as infrastructure spending, money for ailing states and an extension of unemployment benefits.

 

Any sensible economist would testify that unemployment would be much higher if Republican policies had prevailed. Without the bailouts of banks undertaken by Bush and the stimulus packages of Obama, the U.S. economy would probably have slipped into a depression like that of the 1930s.

Posted by WORLDMEETS.US

 

Now, it's difficult to demand public acclaim for a crisis that has been prevented. But any halfway-intelligent citizen should realize that the populist resistance of Tea Party leaders Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, as well as the opposition of a great majority of Democrats to Obama, is nonsensical in terms of economic policy. The hundreds of thousands who gathered in Washington under Beck and Palin leadership on Saturday to condemn Obama as a weak and tyrannical socialist, probably don't belong to that former group. But the millions who voted for Obama in 2008 and are now leaning toward candidates promising the exact opposite, canít all be fanatical yokels.

 

The majority of Americans will probably vote against their own interests and those of their country in November. Unfortunately, that's not unusual.

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:

La Jornada, Mexico: Beck and the New U.S.-Right: 'Like a Horror Movie'

Iraq News Agency, Iraq: Sarah Palin: The 'Seductress' of the American Election

Liberation, France: The Awakening of the 'White American Male'

 

Bookmark and Share

 

As has been pointed out by a number of political scientists and economists over the years - from Anthony Downs to Bryan Caplan, author of the wonderful book The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, time and again, democracies have tended toward false and destructive political decisions because they sounded appealing to the masses.

 

This isn't just an American phenomenon. When you compare what experts in Austria recommend for tax, budget and social policy, and then look at what emerges, one would have to arrive at a similarly pessimistic assessment about the design of democratic politics: unreformable federalism, pensions without end, open universities without fees or quality - all of this reflects the true will of the majority.

 

And unfortunately, we can expect the crisis not to change this either, that the 2011 budget will look be a mix of tax- and savings measures with only one thing in common - it will reflect the path of least resistance in regard to the population without improving the long-term economic prospects of the country.

 

We, too, can despair of democracy - even if we know there is no better alternative.

 

CLICK HERE FOR GERMAN VERSION

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, August 30, 9:47pm]

 







Bookmark and Share