Monday, September 25, 2023

Kaleidoscope Of Junk

     Contemporary politics continues to boggle me.  Oh, the process has never not been tawdry, acrimonious and tarnished all the way to the highest office, starting with the bitter Adams - Jefferson feud and continuing to the present day.  It's been more crooked in the past but I'm not sure it has ever been quite as trashy and nonsense-ridden as it has become.

     If "Politics is show business for ugly people," it has become even uglier of late, and the verbal flimflam is astonishing.  You need a good set of tools to dig through the muck -- Carl Sagan's Baloney Detector is handy, as is an understanding of "cold reading" (article also covers "warm" and "hot reading") and knowledge of basic cons.

     All politicians are trying to sell you a bill of goods.  Figure out what they're selling, how the pitch works -- and if the goods offered are worth the price, or even deliverable.  We've been sold a war on poverty, a war on drugs, a war on the border and a war on the sources of terrorism, but in every case, the conditions for victory are unclear, the price is higher than advertised and the sincerity of the pitchman is questionable.


Joe in PNG said...

My... favorite... bad political trick is the eternal promise to do a thing that can't be done. To paraphrase Hemingway from "Islands in the Stream", if a politician can get money, votes, power and influence to fix a problem, he'll never actually fix the problem. Why would he?

Loudly trumpeted programs and initiatives that don't actually end the thing and may actually exacerbate the issue work well enough to get re-elected.
Likewise, the inability to get one's programs and initiatives started because those Other Tribe SOB's are in charge also works to get those in opposition re-elected.

It's funny how low our standards actually are when we look to find representatives for our government.

Jerry said...

The problem with our current government by the elected, the appointed and the employed is that there is no penalty for failure. Let's say that there's too many poor people. Create a government agency.

Now think like a bureaucrat who wants to grow the agency and attain life long employment. How does one do that? By failing. "We tried and failed. We need more money to fix the problem."

Congress, of course, obliges because bureaucrats vote and the various civil service unions contribute mightily to the election of pliable politicians.

The United States is in trouble because more people work for government than private industry. This cannot continue and it will not. The only question is how it will end.

Roberta X said...

"More people work for the government than private industry?" Big if true, Jerry -- but it isn't. The biggest number I can find is 15% of the U. S. workforce is employed by local, state and Federal government. Fifteen percent is not "more than half." It's not even close. And the penalty for failure is the people at the top, who set goals and policy, don't get re-elected.

Do your homework before you comment -- because I *will* do it before publishing and I won't let handwavium stand. This isn't an echo chamber.

Tam said...

“ Now think like a bureaucrat who wants to grow the agency and attain life long employment.”

Funny how none of the people who advance this argument will admit that they don’t solve their own problems at work because to do otherwise would jeopardize their continued employment.