Friday, August 29, 2008

Politics as Usual

At Cafe Hayek, two great posts on the failures of politics. This one by Russ Roberts,
I'm sure Joe Biden's acceptance speech was worded carefully:

Barack Obama knows that any country that out teaches us today will out-compete us tomorrow. He'll invest in the next generation of teachers.

Yes, if he has the chance, Obama will invest in the next generation of teachers. I'd rather invest in students. Novel idea, isn't it?

And this one by Don Boudreaux,

Political types say the darndest things. Earlier today I heard, on NPR, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake interviewed about John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Ms. Lake said something like "Gov. Palin will have to convince voters that she and Mr. McCain are in touch with women's issues. For example, how will she deal with the fact that, as Senator, Mr. McCain voted many times against raising the minimum wage? The minimum-wage is absolutely a women's issue."

What?? Let's assume -- contrary to economic logic -- that the minimum-wage achieves the very goals that it's advocates publicly assert that it will achieve with no downsides. Why would the minimum-wage be a "woman's issue"? What is it about higher wages that is of unique concern to women? Are low-skilled men indifferent to what they earn? Are men indifferent to what their low-skilled wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters earn? To what their low-skilled fathers, sons, and brothers earn? Do men care less about these things than women do? (If so, does that mean that men are less materialistic or less greedy than women?)

I don't mean to pick on Ms. Lake (whom I never heard of until a few hours ago); she's simply one among a horde of political activists. I cite here her ridiculous statement about the minimum-wage being a "woman's issue" only to give further evidence that the vast majority of political talk is childish -- ridiculous -- fueled more by thoughtless presumptions than by considered thought.

Politics is absurd. Looking to it as a source of earthly salvation, or even as a good means of getting potholes filled, is mystifying.

(The above quotation from Celinda Lake is from my memory. I can't now find any on-line version of this statement by Ms. Lake. If you can find one, please do send it to me.)

1 comment:

fatrat said...

I like that guy's opinion on this matter. I hear a lot of things that make me shake my head and say, "Did I just hear that?"

The media and the politicians talk to us like we're children. People even debate these matters on a childish level. I'm starting to think any government of the people will always fall and become tyranny managed by the stupid.