If we gathered the smartest financial and economic minds together and locked them in a room for a week I think we could solve the current economic conundrum…
But instead, our system of representative democracy forces compromise between brilliant ideals and half-baked social plans motivated by re-election cycles. Perhaps this is what the founders wanted – to keep the representatives tied to the local whims of the body politic.
However, in the context of social dislocation like that we are facing today, it seems that the benefit of coordination more than compensates for the potential abuses that might come from a republic led by disconnected philosopher-kings.
This trade-off: between efficacy and representation, is likely less stark in a society where the populous has the benefit of good education and therefore more wide-spread competence. But when a society allows its educational system to fail, when pop-culture and hollywood media replace civic awareness, and more info
when party politics make any debate center around hot-button social issues rather than content, the trade-offs become dangerous.
Our President has sided with Mr. Cheney in attempting to address this issue by seizing more power for the executive. I see this as a rational market reaction to the tensions of our representative form of government in the context of our current challenges. If he uses this power to tap into the brain trust he has accumulated, we should likely look the other way…
But on the other hand, our framers set a system in place that has brought us through generations of war, conflict and change, leaving us standing in a position of strength. So perhaps we should resist urges spouted by intellectuals like yours truly and instead address the educational inadequacies that strain our representative forms.
Either way, I think talking about these civic issues is important in these strained days.