As a society, we are ill-prepared for the end of “politics is the solution.
“It’s fun to be a politician when there’s plenty of tax revenues and borrowed money to distribute, and when the goodies get bipartisan support.
Despite the usual ideological squabbles, the general mood is upbeat:
the horse-trading is about the relative share of the spoils each constituency will receive. Nobody gets everything they want, but everybody gets a good chunk and after an appropriate period of whining, resentment and indignation eventually counts their blessings. But once the pie starts shrinking, the mood darkens: rather than goodies being distributed, losses and belt-tightening must be distributed. The game is now zero-sum: one constituency’s gain is another’s dead loss. Politics is no longer fun once the pie starts shrinking. The illusion of “growth” can be maintained for a while by borrowing enormous sums and distributing the windfall as if it were real, organic growth but eventually the wheels fall off the substitute debt for income and tax revenues game and the entire rotten structure collapses.
The other dynamic in play that’s visible in the chart below is the distribution of wealth and power is so asymmetric that it’s destroying politics as a “solution.”Financialization, neoliberalism and
But the asymmetry isn’t driven solely by the perversities of
These forces have polarized politics into two camps:
As I’ve explained here many times and in my many books, both are wrong
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