Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Discussions > Off-Topic Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-24-2006, 07:21 PM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514
An excellent argument for downsizing government.

The Leadership Myth


By Arnold Kling : 24 Oct 2006



"People like Reid, Hastert, Pelosi are complete mediocrities who should be at much lower levels in our society. Something is fundamentally wrong on both sides of the aisle if they are the upper leadership of our Congress."
-- Roger L. Simon

I disagree with Roger Simon. Not because I think highly of the leaders he disparages. But one way in which libertarians differ from conventional liberals and conservatives is that we place less faith in having good political leaders.

The conventional wisdom is that we would be better off if politically powerful leaders were less mediocre. Instead, my view is that we would be better off if mediocre political leaders were less powerful.

The Real Value of Democracy

Democracy does not lead to particularly good choices. Most successful institutions in society are not democratic.

An example of an institution that I believe works well is a sports tournament. A good chess tournament or tennis tournament produces a winner who is far better than mediocre.

Another example of an institution that works well is the scientific method. I trust the results of well-designed experiments much more than I trust popular opinion.

Many institutions give concentrated decision-making power to experts. Examples include business decisions made by corporations or tenure decisions made by academic departments. Many government agencies are built to work on this model, but in the absence of the competitive discipline that exists in the private sector, the results are mixed. My personal impression is that some agencies, such as the Federal Reserve, have an abundance of expertise, while other agencies, such as the CIA, appear somewhat deficient.

For me, the value of democracy is that it provides a check on government officials. The fact that leaders can be tossed out by popular vote helps to limit their abuse of power. Democracy gives the people the power to toss out the bums.

This view of democracy is what makes the 2006 election so difficult. The incumbent Republicans in Congress have done everything possible to merit being tossed out as bums. They have abused power, focused on entrenchment, and acted aloof and arrogant when called to account. Although many conservative Republican supporters complain about my intention to stay home this November, I feel that, if anything, I am bending over backwards for Republicans by abstaining, rather than voting Democratic. Of course, no one has to remind me that the Democrats are at least as guilty of arrogance, entrenchment, and tendency to abuse power. Incumbents of both parties deserve to be tossed out as bums.

Expect Mediocrity

We have to expect mediocrity from political leaders. They are selected by a very unreliable process. In general, I try to avoid contact with narcissists who spend their time pleading for money. Those are hardly the intellectual and emotional characteristics that make someone admirable, yet they are the traits of people who go into politics.

Could election reforms help? None of the election reforms currently under discussion would make much difference, in my view. I once pointed out that in order to reproduce the degree of accountability that existed at the time of the nation's founding, we would need 250 states, but (a) I am not sure that would work and (b) it is not going to be tried.

The libertarian view is that private institutions, both for-profit and non-profit, are better at problem-solving than government institutions. Regardless of whether political leadership is wise or mediocre, our goal should be to limit the damage that public officials can do. Do not demand that they "solve" health care, "fix" education, or launch a "Manhattan project" for energy independence. Even for experts, those are impossible tasks. The harder we press our existing leaders to address these issues, the more trouble they are going to cause.

The belief that the problem with government is the particular individuals in power is dangerous. The myth is that somewhere out there we could find great leaders who could use government to solve all of our problems. Instead, we need to be vigilant against the enlargement of government, by either mediocre or expert leaders.

Do not look upon the electoral process as a search for great leaders. At best, it gives us an opportunity for damage control.

----Arnold Kling is the author of "Learning Economics".

________________

Mike

__________________
_____
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
_____
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
_____
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it

www.myspace.com/mikemover
www.myspace.com/openskystudio
www.myspace.com/speedxband
www.myspace.com/openskyseparators
www.myspace.com/doubledrivemusic
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-24-2006, 08:03 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,307
Makes sense.
__________________
2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2007 Tiara 3200
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-24-2006, 09:49 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I agree with you on all but the reference to the Federal Reserve having any amount of expertise. The global economy would function much better in the absence of such institutions.
__________________
Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:29 AM
Botnst's Avatar
What knockers!
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: There castle.
Posts: 41,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckwheat View Post
...Only reason Enron was pursued is they took the yacht keys from their senators about 2 weeks prior
Ha!
__________________
'Government is like a baby:
An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and
no sense of responsibility at the other'
- Ronald Reagan
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:52 AM
POS's Avatar
POS POS is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,506
I like the article - is this what libertarians believe or is this what a few libertarians believe?

All politicians are trash - regardless of party affiliation. But there are always lesser evils, therefore I vote.
__________________
- Brian


1989 500SEL Euro
1966 250SE Cabriolet
1958 BMW Isetta 600
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-25-2006, 09:27 AM
Botnst's Avatar
What knockers!
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: There castle.
Posts: 41,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by POS View Post
I like the article - is this what libertarians believe or is this what a few libertarians believe?

All politicians are trash - regardless of party affiliation. But there are always lesser evils, therefore I vote.
Libertarians don't believe much in common once you get passed the lofty words of liberty. They're too anarchic to ever be a viable party.

I pretty much agree with that author and with most of the libertarian views. Some of them I don't agree with at all.
__________________
'Government is like a baby:
An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and
no sense of responsibility at the other'
- Ronald Reagan
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-25-2006, 09:54 AM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by POS View Post
I like the article - is this what libertarians believe or is this what a few libertarians believe?

All politicians are trash - regardless of party affiliation. But there are always lesser evils, therefore I vote.
Most libertarians that I know believe this, at least in basic principle, even if we may disagree over the details.

Mike
__________________
_____
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
_____
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
_____
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it

www.myspace.com/mikemover
www.myspace.com/openskystudio
www.myspace.com/speedxband
www.myspace.com/openskyseparators
www.myspace.com/doubledrivemusic
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-25-2006, 10:00 AM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Libertarians don't believe much in common once you get passed the lofty words of liberty. They're too anarchic to ever be a viable party.
I disagree.

The Libertarian party, in spite of differences within the party over the Iraq situation, immigration, etc., has been growing rapidly in recent years...

And I would also dare to say that there are a LOT more people out there right now who, according to their convictions, are libertarians. But they just don't know it yet... They just know that they are fed up with the rapidly-growing pile of BS that we've been fed by the two major parties over the years, and the exponentially increasing power of the federal government, and the waste, inefficiency, and loss of liberty that inevitably accompanies it.

Don't be so quick to write off the possibility of libertarians gaining ground on the federal level. There are now more libertarians (and libertarian-leaning Dems and Repubs) in local and state offices than ever before.

Just because something hasn't happened YET, doesn't inherently mean that it never will!

Mike
__________________
_____
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
_____
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
_____
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it

www.myspace.com/mikemover
www.myspace.com/openskystudio
www.myspace.com/speedxband
www.myspace.com/openskyseparators
www.myspace.com/doubledrivemusic
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-25-2006, 12:22 PM
jlomon's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 310
A very interesting article, and one that I think is applicable not just to US democracy, but any country following similar government models.

I've always thought that the biggest problem with "democracy" is the fact that voters only get to choose between candidates that are endorsed by a political party. Yes, independents often run, but their campaigns are marginalized more often than not because they simply don't have the funding/political machinery to get their message out. We seldom get to pick amongst the best of the best when voting. We just get to choose between one party shill or another, with no guarantee that the particular shill was the best the party could find. Quite probably they were either the best financed or most connected.

Would a dramatic overhaul of campaign financing help? I don't know. I'd like to think it would, but I'm too much of a cynic. But anything that encouraged more independents to run in an election that was issues-focused would be a good thing. Is it really a free vote if the political parties determine who the contestants are and work to exclude all others from the process? I think it becomes nothing more than choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-25-2006, 06:07 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,307
We need a third party, thats what it comes down to. You don't want to many parties because then nothing gets done. But having a third would help keep them more honest.
__________________
2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2007 Tiara 3200
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-25-2006, 06:21 PM
Botnst's Avatar
What knockers!
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: There castle.
Posts: 41,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemover View Post
I disagree.

The Libertarian party, in spite of differences within the party over the Iraq situation, immigration, etc., has been growing rapidly in recent years...

And I would also dare to say that there are a LOT more people out there right now who, according to their convictions, are libertarians. But they just don't know it yet... They just know that they are fed up with the rapidly-growing pile of BS that we've been fed by the two major parties over the years, and the exponentially increasing power of the federal government, and the waste, inefficiency, and loss of liberty that inevitably accompanies it.

Don't be so quick to write off the possibility of libertarians gaining ground on the federal level. There are now more libertarians (and libertarian-leaning Dems and Repubs) in local and state offices than ever before.

Just because something hasn't happened YET, doesn't inherently mean that it never will!

Mike
You could be right, I sure hope so. But I have a sneaky feeling that it is growing mainly because free market conservatives are abandoning the DemoPublican-whores who are writing blank checks to each other.

When people get into the guts of Libertarian Party planks I think most people find more than a few of them that will make them recoil in terror.

So I think their destiny will be to pull the fiscal liberals in the Demo Party a bit to the free market side and pull the Repos on the social conservative side a bit to the personal liberties side as both parties continue to whore any value they had to get a piece of teh Libertarian's asses.

Cynically,

Bot
(A whore of a different color)
__________________
'Government is like a baby:
An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and
no sense of responsibility at the other'
- Ronald Reagan
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:03 PM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy View Post
We need a third party, thats what it comes down to. You don't want to many parties because then nothing gets done. But having a third would help keep them more honest.
I disagree.

I think we need a LOT more parties.

Any and every party or potential candidate for any government office should have equal ballot access.

If you wake up tomorrow and decide that you want to run for President, then you should be able to. And there should not be an insurmountable wall of red tape and BS that prevents you from doing so, which is exactly what we currently have.


Mike
__________________
_____
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
_____
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
_____
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it

www.myspace.com/mikemover
www.myspace.com/openskystudio
www.myspace.com/speedxband
www.myspace.com/openskyseparators
www.myspace.com/doubledrivemusic
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:04 PM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlomon View Post
Is it really a free vote if the political parties determine who the contestants are and work to exclude all others from the process? I think it becomes nothing more than choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils.
I STRONGLY agree.

Mike
__________________
_____
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
_____
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
_____
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it

www.myspace.com/mikemover
www.myspace.com/openskystudio
www.myspace.com/speedxband
www.myspace.com/openskyseparators
www.myspace.com/doubledrivemusic
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:09 PM
Botnst's Avatar
What knockers!
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: There castle.
Posts: 41,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemover View Post
I disagree.

I think we need a LOT more parties.

Any and every party or potential candidate for any government office should have equal ballot access.

If you wake up tomorrow and decide that you want to run for President, then you should be able to. And there should not be an insurmountable wall of red tape and BS that prevents you from doing so, which is exactly what we currently have.


Mike
Yep.
__________________
'Government is like a baby:
An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and
no sense of responsibility at the other'
- Ronald Reagan
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:25 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemover View Post
I disagree.

I think we need a LOT more parties.

Any and every party or potential candidate for any government office should have equal ballot access.

If you wake up tomorrow and decide that you want to run for President, then you should be able to. And there should not be an insurmountable wall of red tape and BS that prevents you from doing so, which is exactly what we currently have.


Mike
Some South American countires have probably hundreds of parties. The problem with such a system is nothing gets done. Since no party alone can do anything they have to talk and talk and talk for years to get enough parties together to do anything. Then a disagrement happens and it all falls apart. What you get is a constant power struggle with no end, and the gov is pretty much useless. Well until some general decides to run it but thats another story.

Another party would keep everyone more honest.

Remember we are a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

__________________
2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2007 Tiara 3200
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page