Why are politicians so stupid?Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 16:07
From the August 2008 Elliott Wave Theorist, titled
Some Myths & Realities in the World of Politicized Finance
by Robert Prechter | Excerpted with permission
Why are politicians so stupid?
This is another belief that is totally wrong. How many times have we all read a letter to the editor from someone who calls government actions “stupid?” They say government-created lending institutions were a “dumb” idea; FEMA’s waste of half a trillion dollars after hurricane Katrina was due to “ineptitude”; the war in Iraq is “idiotic”; the state-controlled educators are “incompetent”; the military is “mismanaged”; the subsidy of ethanol is a “colossal failure”; the Fed is “foolishly” inflating; the welfare system “doesn’t work”; the immigration department “can’t do its job”; the war on drugs is a “failure”; and so on.
All of this is completely wrong.
Over the past 40 years, members of the House of Representatives have enjoyed an average re-election rate of 94 percent! In the last five elections, they have enjoyed a re-election rate of 97 percent! What is stupid about that? Obviously, politicians are not wasting a dollar or mismanaging anything. Government is designed to serve the people in it, and for that purpose, it works great.
The public gets fleeced, cheated, punished and crushed, but that is just a side effect. The favor-trading process, in which special interests fund campaign coffers in exchange for pet legislation, is a form of unnatural selection that weeds out those who are unwilling or incapable of predictable, reliable and discreet power brokerage, which is a rare and delicate skill. People who can rob their fellow citizens blind, throw their money down rat holes, plague them with endless rules and punishments and simultaneously get their victims to confer upon them society’s highest level of respect are in some intuitive way geniuses.
Members of Congress may be short-sighted, dishonest, corrupt, pragmatic, hypocritical, immoral or amoral, but they are not stupid. They know exactly how to influence voters, hand out tax money and manipulate the political system to enhance their personal, social and financial status while making it look as if they are upstanding citizens trying their gol-darndest to provide services.
And the public buys it. So which group is stupid?
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For more fascinating & counter-intuitive perspectives, download the entire report here: Some Myths & Realities in the World of Politicized Finance
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And let's take that re-election rate down from 94% to, oh, say zero come November 4. (Dr. Paul has no challenger, so he has to be reelected.)