Aug
09
2011

Consensus and the Economy

I’ve been following the debt ceiling crisis, the Republican’s no taxes agreement, and Obama’s posturing in press conferences. I’m not surprised that our credit rating was downgraded, and I think any thoughts that we can avoid another recession going at the rate we are going is completely ridiculous.

Democrats blame the Republicans for not being wiling to shift of taxes, the Republicans blame Democrats for having eyes bigger than their stomachs. One of the most profound comments I have heard in this whole debacle is that, “We chose divided government”.

So outside of a few clear headed individuals one side is continuing to blame the other, and we are getting no where. Politically and economically if we cannot make better choices in the next few months we are going to pay dearly.

This recent crisis is why I have shifted away from party politics, and viewing the model that the US has set forth as a government as less than ideal.  A few precipitating factors that have led to recent half assed compromises and bad decisions.

  1. The people are too far removed from politics, at this point everyone has cast their vote and Congress isn’t changing for over a year.
  2. Because the people are so removed from politics elections focus on big moral issues, rather than practicality.
  3. There is a lack of respect for consensus based decision making.  We as a country tend to look for the “winner” versus focusing on the outcome.  Party lines are too tightly tied to major policies.
  4. Therefore the loser has a tendency to come in with a monkey wrench and destroy the other sides policies next cycle.

Solutions:

  1. We as a people need to not be bystanders in the political process.  We should seek from our representatives more than, “No New Taxes”, or “Yes We Can” when determining what they can do for our country.  If we demand more information, we will get it.
  2. We should participate in the process throughout the election cycle, we should left Congress know how the tables are going to turn in a year, based on current decisions.  We should use our collective power to rally, buy, sell, and support discriminately.
  3. Move towards solving problems collectively versus focusing on Majorities and winning.  Consensus driven decision making respects individual voices, all sides, and true minority rights.  It strips away party lines, and runs on process instead.
  4. The people should have the right to protect policies already in place.  We as a people should be able to protect Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other major pieces of policy with our votes, versus sending our hopes on a prayer to a representative.

 

One thought on “Consensus and the Economy”

  1. Very, very rarely do I read a blog post I agree with as much as this one. *Especially* the “We as a people need to not be bystanders in the political process” bit. I’ve long since lost count of how many times I’ve found myself in a political conversation with someone who says “Oh, I don’t care about/know anything about politics” and then proceeds to complain about various economic and political issues. I just can’t stand people who blindly vote for someone because s/he promises to “create more jobs” or “fix the economy” but has no clue what X’s position on Y is.

    Ditto re: “We should participate in the process throughout the election cycle.” Everyone seems to become an expert on political issues in the months leading up to an election, but tunes out for the next 3.5 years. Even when, say, the economy tanks and the entire country sits on the precipice of a decades-long economic abyss, it’s hard to get people to care unless the persons or people they’re angry with (often angry without fully understanding why or what they’re angry at) are up for re-election. How many times have I heard “They’ll get theirs in the next election.” Why wait? If you’re that angry, get involved now!

    Oy. But yes: wholeheartedly agreed.

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