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January 05, 2006

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has anyone considered that maybe the vast majority of americans want to be governed some and want a big government to take care of them despite the constant complaining about how expensive taxes are?

i hate to admit it because i'm for smaller government, less intrusion into privacy, etc. etc. but i can't help to notice what happened when the pres tried to refore social security. i mean if there was ever a time to get off the titanic this was it. that damn program is going down. his ideas, however, got no play. people would rather stay on the titanic and pretend that it won't go down than bite the bullet. american people, like europeans and others, like to be taken care of. sad to say, but its true. i think the republicans have simply responded to this and have failed to make any meaningful reforms because their polls tell them it would be a disaster.

i saw the soon to be ex or ex director of the congressional budget office on cspan. he had a great statement about social security and the impending disaster that awaits, he said, "the time we're living in now is the good ol' days. wait until 2010 when social security pays out more than it takes in. hard decisions will have to be made then. yes, these are the good ol' days."

i think he's probably right.

Various commentators have observed that American public wants it both ways on everything. They want more government services but less taxes. They want freedom but refuse to accept the risks. When things go wrong, they want (no, demand) someone to bail them out.

Perhaps the Republic party is merely reflect ing the fact that freedom loving people are now in the minority in this country. Rationality takes a backseat to emotions. Just look at the fly attendants union's opposing to allowing passengers to have scissors on grounds of "safety". Most people are perfectly happy with the things as they are. If we have less freedom today, that is because the people don't value it.

Pierre and Nobody have both made some very insightful comments.

The average American has grown up with the welfare state, and is therefore comfortable with it. Letting go is scary. They'd rather vote for candidates that make them comfortable.

It's not just the psychological factors, though, but also the economic nature of the political system. The return on "rent-seeking" behavior, i.e. special interests lobbying government, is of greater value than individual voters seeking good government, since an individual vote is worth significantly less--only large numbers register in the politicians' minds.

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