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Monday, May 6, 2013

"Democracy's Death-by-Welfare"

Camille Pecastaing writes at the Hoover Institute about the link between welfare and the decline of democracy (essentially, a bread and circuses argument). However, I'm going to hazard a guess that she is not a Libertarian. She writes:
Democracy never meant for elected officials to micro-govern, a task for a technocratic elite, shielded from the pressure of special interests, with a holistic view on the long-term commonwealth—the modern version of the Ancient Greeks’ philosopher king. Elected officials were tasked with other functions, such as keeping the technocracy nimble and accountable for producing results efficiently. Crucially, officials had to “sell” to the people policies designed technocratically (not democratically), mustering the kind of legitimacy that brings together a country around a common purpose.

Her basic assumption is that democracy was adopted by our founding fathers to eliminate corruption. However, because politicians have to bribe voters to support plans, it has led to another cycle of corruption. Ideally, in her mind, voting would be left to those with "skin in the game," so to speak, while management of the economy would be left to technocrats.

What escapes her is that the corruption she complains about is the result of the bureaucratic, all encompassing state. Corruption follows the money, and there would be no significant money involved except that government has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. 

(I also question her hubris that technocrats can dispassionately and successfully run a nation. The Soviet Union and the E.U. should have put that idea to rest a long time ago).

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