Thursday, March 3, 2011

Following the Will of the People

I’m not an expert on finance or monetary policy. I’m not a businessman, and I’m certainly not a politician, although I do vote in most elections. The one thing I’ve got going for me is that I’m smart enough to know what things I DON’T know, and one of the things I don’t know is how to save America from bankruptcy. So when a politician proudly proclaims that he or she is just following the will of the voters, then we’re all in trouble, because most voters are just like me and don’t have a clue. If the Founding Fathers had wanted politicians to follow the will of the voters, they would have given us a democracy. Instead, the U.S. Constitution gave us a republic, which means that elected representatives are supposed to learn enough to gain insight about problems and situations, and then make their own governing decisions based on their own knowledge and judgment. To put it less delicately, the Founding Fathers knew that most voters were imbeciles and would always be imbeciles, and if the elected representatives followed the will of the voters, then the nation would be governed by imbeciles.

What the Founding Fathers could never have foreseen is our modern public education system which turns out graduates who think that a billion is twice as much as a million, and a trillion is three times as much as a million. This leads to constituent voters who are thrilled when their elected representative proposes cutting one billion dollars from National Public Radio to solve a trillion dollar deficit problem. Voters figure that’s two-thirds of the way toward balancing the nation’s checkbook. But here’s the really, REALLY, scary part. There’s no evidence to show that the elected representatives don’t share the same mathematical misconception and ignorance.

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