The Future Is Unrepresented
Peter G. Peterson on modern politicians:
Underlying these challenges is our broken political system. Our representatives, unlike our Founding Fathers, see politics as a career. As a result, they are focused not on the next generation, but on the next election. When the long-term problems are large and real, they anesthetize us, mislead us, divert us—anything to keep us from giving up something or having to pay for it. Too often, our political leaders are just enablers, co-conspirators in a disingenuous and greedy silence. Our children are unrepresented. The future is unrepresented.
These words are from a real, respectable fiscal conservative businessman who has decided to start The Peter G. Peterson Foundation with a self-donated $1 billion endowment. Peterson recruited David Walker, the Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office into the foundation as President and CEO. David Walker is famous amongst a few fiscal conservatives for his serious announcement on 60 Minutes that the economy is unsustainable considering the direction it was heading. Walker turned this liberal Democrat into one very concerned about the future fiscal viability of the United States.
David Walker more than anyone else opened my eyes to the importance of the economy and how we spend our dollars. I’m still a liberal Democrat however not the pure socialist type for the sake of socialism. There are many ways to go about fixing our economy and pure fiscal conservatism and conservative policies aren’t necessarily the right direction to go. Conservatism, after all, isn’t simply capitalism-takes-all, much to the disapproval of the Republican faction. Economists Keynes and Hayek, while at odds, don’t necessarily have to butt heads all the time. Their philosophies are tools — a means to an end and foundations for creative economic policy.
Both Democrats and Republicans have taken chunks of these economic philosophies and have used them as inspiration for soundbites to gather up voters under a banner of what is, truthfully, ignorance.
“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” – Friedrich Hayek in The Fatal Conceit
“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” – John Maynard Keynes
At the end of the day, you really can’t trust a politician or their philosophies on policy. They don’t really know what they’re doing. All they know is how to get elected. That’s why we have to place checks on them and balance out between the problematic ones and the ones with potential for good. We haven’t been able to do that for some time now and instead of pushing out incumbents for a new breed of politicians with potential for good, because the alternative, new politicians are merely rabid sharks trying to get into office to become career politicians instead of policy wonks and legislators, we keep getting the same crappy politicians and the same crappy soundbites of economic policies.
The future has no representation. The only representation in Washington is for the sake of careers and nothing more.