A Broken System

The scandals swirling about the Obama administration are a symptom of some of the basic defects of the US system of government, specifically:

  • The “two-party system,” specifically feared by the drafters of the constitution, which makes change nearly impossible and government unresponsive. Government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around.
  • A civil service managed by political appointees, unlike the career managers that run civil services in most democracies, leading to the perversion of agencies for political purposes, including fund-raising and intimidation, as well as just plain poor management by inexperienced and unskilled managers.
  • Politicians who must raise vast sums for election campaigns and who also can become wealthy in office by dispensing favors, leading to unnecessary and unproductive spending to the benefit of donors.
  • The abandonment, since the 1930s, of constitutional limits on government, leading to runaway growth of government and its intrusions in the life of citizens.

This is not just a political and social issue, it is very much an economic issue. Quite apart from the damaging aspects of government intrusion and excessive spending, people are losing trust in the whole system. That loss of trust makes people unwilling to invest as they cannot rely on government to act in reasonable, to say nothing of supportive, ways.

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