Friday, October 05, 2012

Also, Too, Technocrats

I actually do understand the sentiment Atrios mentions here, particularly among a subset of the well educated.  The thought process is fairly simple:
Really smart, capable people can come up with some solution X to problem Y, but most people won't understand it so wouldn't it be great if we just had a system where said really smart capable person were also pushy enough to get whatever she wants and just implements great ideas?

It actually seems really convincing at some level, but it ignores a few things. The biggest is that two different but equally smart and capable people could come to different solutions to the same problem.  This is even more likely if the problem and/or solution is complex.

So what happens when both are also really pushy and get their way?  The answer is either gridlock, or compromise, or taking turns trying things, with voters switching things off if they go poorly, i.e. the system we have.

There are still problems of course, and since it seems one of them is that Republicans have way more pushy people who get their way, the idea the Democrats need some of those too makes sense.  In the past 20 years (some may say >30) Republicans have managed to get a lot of their policy passed by being assholes.  I don't think that putting Democratic assholes in is necessarily the right answer, but the alternative seems to be people who roll over and give Republicans more wins than they should get.

[Another big flaw with the thought is: what happens when an idea that seems smart actually has a major flaw--like with the Euro--but the implementer is the pushy one who gets his way?]

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