Saturday, November 17, 2012

Retrospective

The elections are over.  The people have spoken — we think.  Republicans are crying in their beers.  Democrats are celebrating, but few of them know what or why.  All they know is that 'our side won!', and this is a good thing because 'our side' will make things better.  Oddly, few reflect that both sides claim to want to 'make things better' and that whichever side has been in power for the last ninety-or-so years, things have not gotten better.  Far from it, things have gotten progressively worse whether the Republicans were in charge or the Democrats.

"It's the economy, stupid!"  Both parties, of course, claim to know the secret formula, the magic incantation that will make all our economic problems disappear.  Neither party, it seems, has been in power long enough to actually mutter the counter-curse that expels our economic demons.  Even FDR, in office for a record 12 years (16 had he lived out his fourth term), had insufficient time to put everything to rights.

Perhaps it's time for us to consider a heretical suggestion.  Perhaps it's time for us to entertain the notion that politicians, for all their promises to the contrary, in fact cannot manage economies, that politicians may be the cause of those economic problems.  Given their success at fixing economic problems, it's at least a plausible theory.  What's more, it has "the ring of truth".  Observe:

Let us start with the assumption that politicians can manage economies.  Alright, that means we are standing here, the rubble of a housing bubble around our feet, the Fed about to start printing $40 Billion (with a 'B') per month for 'Quantitative Easing III' because (we are told) QE2 and QE1 didn't perform as expected, official unemployment around 8% (although some of us suspect it's really above 20%), and all because those politicians managed the economy.  I beg your pardon?  They managed us into this mess?  Somebody get a rope.  Somebody get 535 ropes.

Oh, you meant they could have managed the economy if it weren't for that dratted "other party".  I see.  Only one party knows how to manage the economy, but the others are just obstructionists intent on preventing us fixing this mess.  If only the people would stop electing them, things would turn right around.  Riiiiight...  Eight years in power just isn't enough time for us to show some progress towards a solution.  I don't know whether that's malfeasance, misfeasance, or just nonfeasance, but I think we're going to need more rope.

Interestingly enough, it seems that every country has more-or-less the same problem, and their politicians are no better at managing their economies than ours are at managing ours.  Just cast a glance across the Atlantic and see the troubles plaguing the Eurozone.  Gosh, it's like looking in a mirror, isn't it?

No, there's no evidence to indicate any politician anywhere has any clue about running an economy, and any politician who claims to know how is probably committing fraud.  Pffft.  Now there's a revelation.