Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Real Problem with the US Debt Ceiling Negotiations

I think I have been blogging less the past week because I am so frustrated with the dynamics in US politics.  This whole debt crisis is an artifact of two simple Republican realities: they want to see Obama fail and enough of them refuse to raise taxes to a level where they will be low by historical levels but a bit higher than now.  People argue that famines are not caused by nature but by politics. Well, this common sense famine is definitely the product of politics. 

It should not surprise me since a core theme in my previous work, especially For Kin or Country, is how political incentives will often cause actors to pursue that which is best for their career rather than that which is best for their country (no, I am not the only political scientist with this theme).  But it can still frustrate me. 

I am not going to go into all of the stances taken by everybody.  I just want to acknowledge that this drama has just been depressing, even as it causes the value of my house to increase in exchange rate terms.  Indeed, you know the US is in a crisis when comedians at the Just for Laughs festival make exchange rate jokes that kill (make folks laugh a lot). 

So, if I am blogging less, you can blame Boehner, Cantor, Fox News and other folks who are less interested in what is good for the country but more interested in what is good for themselves.

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