26 February 2013

I’ve been doing a little reading on the upcoming sequestration so I can write something for this blog. As an undergrad, I followed politics generally and congress specifically religiously. Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog was my Bible. For various reasons, I’ve gotten away from following things as closely as I once did. Whenever I dip back into the world of policy punditry, I’m awed by its banality. Much of the problem is the blogosphere in which pundits are expected to have opinions about everything all of the time. Much of what is written is drivel.

It is hard to expect anything else. One of the reasons I’ve never written about politics is that I’m afraid I don’t have anything original to say. For at least the past two to three years (since the 2010 Tea Party wave), congressional debates have gone largely the same. We’ve had stalemate after stalemate that gets a non-solution solution at the very last minute.

It is easy to see why Americans are turned off by politics especially in the Tea Party era. Part of the problem is that we want all things. We want leaders who will stand up for what they believe in, but also are willing to make bipartisan compromises. That was much of the appeal of 2008 campaign era Barack Obama. He could be all things to all people.

According to polls, most Americans don’t know what sequestration is. Ready or not, it seems as though sequestration is coming. This plan that was supposed to be so bad that even our congress wouldn’t possibly let it happen is happening.

America’s budget woes are largely politically created. In Europe, the budget woes are very real. It is a shame that there seems to be little in the way of new thinking on the topic, because that it seems is just what we need. The liberal welfare state that has brought stability to the West for the last 100 years or so is not looking as sustainable as it once was.

I wonder how our generation will deal with these problems as we inherit them. We seem to reject the bureaucratic order upon which the liberal welfare state stands (though perhaps not the welfare state). Many young people are dropping out to work on farms or in other artisanal industries.


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