The 1-7mar14 Economist features a thoughtful study ‘What’s gone wrong with democracy, and how to revive it’. A few more pieces like this and I may have to change my attribution of the newspaper as a center-left publication. The authors do a good job documenting all the pitfalls of democratic governance familiar to RR readers, especially dunning the application of stark ‘majoritarianism’ so beloved by socialists. The following excerpt comes from their revival prescription –
But reformers (of democratic governance) need to be much more ambitious. The best way to constrain the power of special interests is to limit the number of goodies that the state can hand out. And the best way to address popular disillusion towards politicians is to reduce the number of promises they can make. The key to a healthier democracy, in short, is a narrower state—an idea that dates back to the American revolution. “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men”, Madison argued, “the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” The notion of limited government was also integral to the relaunch of democracy after the second world war. The United Nations Charter (1945) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) established rights and norms that countries could not breach, even if majorities wanted to do so.
Everyone in Washington is emulating Dorothy in the attempt to help President Obama find a brain, a heart, and courage - the sought after virtues that prompted the trip up the yellow brick road to Oz. And for all we know, all that effort may pay off. Examples appear in the 5mar14 WSJ where Holman Jenkins takes Obama to task for ‘Forgiving Putin – Again’. William Galston reviews the history of US presidents’ responses to Soviet/Russian aggression, outlining ‘A Russian Test for Obama’. And Douglas Feith spells out ‘The Temptation of Vladimir Putin’, making the case that “if Russia's Ukraine incursion goes unpunished, Moscow may turn to ‘rescuing’ ethnic Russians in NATO countries.” with accompanying illustration by David Gothard. (Now where have you heard that case made before?).
[7mar14 update] Dai Meagher to support Ms Tina Vernon, and not to run for NC Treasurer – Tax Collector. Dai emailed me the announcement this morning which in part reads –
I wish to thank my supporters for their trust and encouragement as I contemplated serving my community as Treasurer-Tax Collector. After careful deliberation I determined I could not fulfill commitments to my clients, to the several community organizations I serve, or to my wife and son, were I to pursue this office at this time.
California continues to lose its cash cattle. Allied Van Lines, among other movers, report that California continues to lose thousands of large “luxury” households, mainly to Texas (more here). Readers may recall that our state’s revenues come heavily over-weighted from the well-to-do. The state suffered a net loss of almost 50K people last year according to the US Census Bureau. This ‘net’ figure masks the actual number of large wallets that are being driven out to greener pastures by the growing level of California’s socialist public policies. But this makes no never mind to the double dummies in Sacramento, and the astute electorate that keeps them there.
The Dalai Lama, a self-avowed Marxist, can’t keep his values flying in tight formation. He loves what the west can provide him and his lifestyle while he lambasts the capitalist system. To him, enterprises that operate for a profit are bad. Nevertheless, he did ask for a speaking gig at the American Enterprise Institute because that organization includes “maximizing human happiness” in its goal statement. But “the longtime Marxist” never criticizes the hundreds of millions killed by communism, only focuses on western countries, and “doesn’t seem to realize that markets are the best way to ‘take care of others’.” (more here)
The looney Left, led by its spiritual leader Harry Reid, constantly shakes their finger at the impact of capitalist money affecting political outcomes by “buying elections” through their large contributions. Well, the latest tally is out from the Center for Responsive Politics, and the unions are hands down winners in the political contributions game (not news to RR readers). From 1989-2014 unions make up more than half of the largest political contributors. And from 2005 to 2011 alone, the unions weighed in with more than $4.4 billion, all going to Democrats, in addition to more money for the Dems contributed by corporations buying special interest favors from both sides of the street.
The Left loves to dangle the Koch brothers as the source of political contributions it consider the most immoral, illegal, and fattening. But in the cited interval Koch contributions totaled $18M which is a rounding error for the grand total of $620,873,623 from 18 unions, each of which outspent the Kochs. But the lying Left abetted by their lamestream lackeys just keeps up the drumbeat, and ol’ Harry’s charges stand in the minds of our low information voters (more here).