Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

November 9, 2007

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush

Filed under: economy, politics — Tags: — codesmithy @ 9:33 am

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate, envisions a crippling legacy and generation-long struggle to recoup from the policies of George W. Bush in Vanity Fair.  I think Stiglitz lays out the indictment of Bush’s policies masterfully.  Although I am going to miss the luxuries and hope that I can maintain the necessities for the upcoming crisis, I can’t help but feel that there is something terribly wrong with the soul of America.  It is the apathy, complacency, ignorance and stupidity that is reflected in our politics and discourse.  A corruption that the citizens of this country have allowed to fester.

I think the underlying problem of Bush is that citizens of this country did not live up to their duty as citizens in a democracy, so when the time came, neither did their elected representatives.   A few did, but too few.  Now, everyone is going to pay the price.  We were warned, but paid no heed.

However, in this oncoming crisis, I do see hope.  We are still a democracy.  We still have a good deal of freedom.  With economic distress, we can hope to break people out of their apathy.  This country has an admirable history of overcoming crises and challenges although it has not necessarily been pretty.  And, a part of me wishes we never went down the road we chose to travel.   But, that is all water under the bridge.  The real question is: where do we go from here?

The answer is that we undermine the political parties that got us into this mess.  How we do it is by changing conditions that necessitated their rise, namely the simple majority voting system we are currently using.  If we replace it with something like Single Transferable Vote, it would prevent the self-censorship at the voting booth that currently takes place.  For example, in the 2000 election, people could still vote for Nader and not help Bush, because they would still presumably still prefer Gore.    Eliminating this self-censorship would also go a long way towards also undermining the media’s ability to determine the candidates by naming perceived leaders, because there is no more throwing one’s vote away by voting for a third party.  That one structural change would immeasurably help make America a more vibrant democracy.  This, in addition to the force that is netroots and information conduit that is the Internet, I think America can become a modern embodiment of an ideal Jeffersonian democracy.  None of this will happen as long as the American people are apathetic.

While Bush is the worst President in American history and the burden he laid at our feet will be felt for years to come, I am confident that America can overcome it and we can become a better place because of it, if we choose to.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Joseph E. Stiglitz has been a critic of George W. Bush administration before, writing a piece in Van… […]

    Pingback by The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict « Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind — March 5, 2008 @ 9:07 am

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