Why democracy isn't working for America
At its core, the democratic processof electing representatives is a popularity contest.The voters inevitably end up supporting whichever lawmakersoffer the best handouts right now, regardless of the long-termconsequences to the nation. Voting, in other words, is a contest based on short-termrewards rather than long-term vision. Not surprisingly, when the votersgo to the polls, they tend to elect the person who promises them the most rightnow.
Now, it's crucial to recognize this simple economic fact: No governmentcan offer something to one person without first taking it from another. Sothe more handouts, entitlements and benefitsany government offers, the more it must confiscate from others in order to meetits "obligations" to the voters.
This creates a downward spiral of entitlements leading to inescapable debt.Because sooner or later, governments always run out of other people's money.
But that doesn't stop the voting action which still boils down to a popularitycontest to decide the leader who tells the best lies. When given achoice between a realistic candidate who says America is deep in debt (RonPaul) and a fantasy-land candidate who says there's nothing to worry about(almost everybody else), most voters will choose the fantasy candidate...especially if it means more money in their pockets.
The right course of action is too unpopular
What's desperately lacking in all this, of course, is thefar more important truth that when a nation is in financialtrouble (and environmental trouble, health care trouble, etc.), only toughdecisions will ever turn it around. And those tough decisions are, bydefinition, unpopular decisions.
Huh? We have to consume less? Receive fewer benefits? Pay higher taxes? Makethe wealthy corporations pay their fair share? Say it isn't so...
Not surprisingly, in a free and open democracy, tough, unpopular decisionswill almost never be supported by the majority of voters. That's becausemost peopleare simply selfish. They are far more concerned about their own immediatebenefits than the future they might be handing down to their childrenor grandchildren. So there is zero willingness to make the tough decisionsnecessary to save the country. The voters, in other words, tend to vote out oftheir own short-term interests rather than the long-term viability of thenation as a whole.
That's why democracy is failing America. And that's partly why America isheaded toward a near-certain collapse in the not-too-distant future. APresident who tells the truth and says we have to cut government by 80% tobalance the budget is simply not electable. Too many people have their hands inthe cookie jar. Too many voters depend on the government to send them checks,and far too many wealthy corporations are entirely dependent on governmentenforcement of monopolies and subsidies for their own survival. Big Pharma, for example, would shrinkby at least 90% if not for the government's supportof the industry.
So electing a President who will actually halt the financial bleeding ofAmerica will never happen.
Sure, it might happen in a nation with a highly educated population. That's why education is so importantto the long-term survival of any nation. But America isn't a highly-educatednation. Probably half of America's high school graduates can't do basic math.So the concept of compounded interest on the national debt is simply beyondtheir understanding and doesn't seem real to them. They are short-termconsumers because that's the way they've been trained. That's the way theythink. That's the way they calculate. And that's the way they vote.
Think about it: Your average consumer will spend $4 on a pack of two AA batteries when they could spend $10 and get 8AA batteries of the exact same brand andcapacity. To most consumers, $4 is cheaper than $10, so they just spend the $4and don't consider the cost per battery. People don't do the math! And whenthey vote, they don't think it through. They vote based on popularity, notrational thought.
As a result, America today is a cesspool of lawmakers, Presidents andbureaucrats who merely weave elaborate lies to feed the public for as long asthey can get away with it. There is hardly a shred of truth left in anythingcoming out of Washington D.C. these days. We are so far beyond the point ofactually fixing the problems and turning this country around that most of theintelligent people are now focused on getting ready to "ride out thereset."
The dictatorship we definitely don't want
At this point, the only real way to save America's future isto force a set of tough decisions upon the people by way of a strongdictatorship -- and I am absolutely opposed to such a thing because it woulddestroy the few remaining freedoms we still enjoy today.
You could, of course, try to educate the populace about freedom, fiscalresponsibility and the value of long-term strategic thinking rather thanshort-term rewards, but that would require an entire cultural shift spanning atleast two generations. Because let's face it, Americans have been trained inthe philosophy of "instant gratification" for at least twogenerations. It's all about having more and having it now. You can'treverse that kind of thinking overnight. You can't reverse instantgratification thinking instantly, in other words.