Democracy and revolution

A no-nonsense quote of the day from Tyler Cowen in his NYT column:
It’s an Election, Not a Revolution
This election is certainly important. But based on the historical record, it isn’t likely to result in a major swing in economic policy. Fundamentally, democracy is not a finely tuned mechanism that can be used to direct economic policy as a lever might lift a pulley. The connection between what voters want, or think they want, and what ultimately happens in the economy, is far less direct. (…)
Rather than being cynics, we should be realists. Democracy is reasonably good at some things: pushing scoundrels out of office, checking their worst excesses by requiring openness, and simply giving large numbers of people the feeling of having a voice. Democracy is not nearly as good at others: holding politicians accountable for their economic promises or translating the preferences of intellectuals into public policy.
THAT might sound pessimistic, but it’s not. Many Americans will be living longer, finding new sources of learning and recreation, creating more rewarding jobs, striking up new loves and friendships, and, yes, earning more money. Just don’t expect most of these gains to come out of the voting booth or, for that matter, Washington.


1 thought on “Democracy and revolution

  1. elections are irritants to the system and have psychological effect and serve entertainment purposes as well.

    But, having said all that, their outcomes can expedite some changes and move the political center of power.

    My hope is that there’ll be a movement of third party groups working together to make PR used at the state level for state legislatures. That cd change the dynamics of the US’s democracy, considerably…


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