Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


What can be very hard to see from the perch of someone with graduate training in public policy and a steady diet of journals of politics and public policy is that the great majority of people have a very limited grasp of public policy, and really for the most part don't understand how government affects their lives at all. Most Americans believe that the greatest share of the federal budget goes to foreign aid and "welfare," in which they do not include Medicare of Social Security. They think their taxes are too high even though their government services aren't good enough. They rationalize that because they think most of the money is either wasted or given to moochers. They are possessed of irrational fears while living in deep denial of real risks and problems.

These are the people who the Koch brothers are wooing with their billions in advertising. It's not that people actually want what Republicans want to give them. But if we are to do anything about this, we need more politicians who will tell the truth. The strategy of running away from president Obama instead of defending the achievements of the past six years was idiotic. If you pretend to be a Republican, there is no reason why people won't just vote for the real thing.

1 comment:

Don Quixote said...

Great point! We have become a society of image and no substance. Schopenhauer pointed out that the visual world was basically a lie, and Marshall McLluhan showed how TV amplified this unfortunate effect. Oy vey.