We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I wrote the following a long time ago but it is out of date; the global power elites and multinationals do change the playing field:
I was born knowing that government is a form of racketeering, albeit sanctioned and necessary. It always has been, from the time that the first prehistoric elders cajoled/coerced the first chumps to build the first stick stockade to keep the livestock in and the two legged and four legged predators out. As is often the case everyone had to ante up, and the few benefited more than others. Add graft, nepotism, protection rackets, featherbedding, and voila, you have Chicago, but, of course corruption is not at all unique to Chicago; it’s part of the human condition. In the US, at times, we had some success in tamping down corruption to a dull roar, at least enough as to not crush the commercial private sector, which depends, on stable currency and enforcement of contracts, a somewhat level playing field, some agreement on standards and measurements, financial infrastructure, and some relief from the significant criminal class, including pols …….
I think, just maybe, the golden age is behind us. We have a culture that is top heavy with takers, like an upside down pyramid.
And just to be clear, I realize that there is a certain level of corruption in everything, and it is not just the purview of the powerful and connected. The idea that greed is a 1% thing or a Wall Street thing is preposterous. America is a bottomless pit of hustlers and always has been. Consider the OB-Gyn who performs the unnecessary C-section, the mechanic who sells you a new battery when you just need your cables cleaned, the repairman that uses substandard or counterfeit parts, the shop that seeds the order of good parts with parts that don’t meet spec, the processor who uses components whose shelf life has expired, the lawyer that pads his bill, the salesman who doesn’t strive to provide you with the product that best fits your needs but the one, on which he stands to make the most money, not to mention, the "Scientists" and “academics” who tweak their stats. Sheesh think of the program, "Homes on Homes". It is pretty representative of what I mean, even if it is Canadian. People dissemble and mislead (as taught in Marketing classes during the 60s), cheat, embellish, take short cuts, and cut corners at every level, in every occupation including the professions, academia and media, charitable foundations, politicians, and activists.
You need only to look at Olson's paradox or Edward Halls commentary on bureaucracy; Olson: …rentiers and special interests continually pile on the government and they do so in tandem with bureaucrats who also seek to expand their turf and power. It is the nature of the beast.
There is also, of course, always the underlying problem of racketeering. Couple this with the REAL ECONOMIC GAME CHANGERS. I don't think it particularly matters what it is called. The problem is not with any... one bureaucracy or any... one creepy do-gooder special interest or activist group but rather their impact in the aggregate. It results in a top heavy, intrusive government that ties itself and everyone else in knots; it is largely non productive and a huge drag on everything.
Edward T. Hall, the pioneer who wrote “Beyond Culture”, said of the bureaucracy that it has : “no soul, no memory, and no conscience…. They are self-serving, amoral and live forever. What could be more irrational? Changing them is almost impossible, because they function according to their own rules and bow to no man, not even the President of the United States, or a Prime Minister. Custom, human frailties (foibles), and the will to power keep our bureaucracies going. … Paradoxically, most bureaucracies are staffed largely with conscientious, committed people who are trying to do the right thing, but they are powerless (or feel powerless) to change things. [ or maybe not. I think for many more , the job is just a paycheck.] None of which would be so serious if it weren’t that these are the very institutions on which we depend to solve all our major problems.
Bottom line: I think the takers have overtaken the makers.
It is my opinion that this was facilitated and exacerbated by technology.
Today, you have the multiple revolutions: instant global communication, transportation(containers), digital automation, big data, and the internet, it seems to me these revolutions concentrated power in the hands of a few, the mandarin class. Whether there is an antidote, I can't say. Maybe the future is a kind of "hi-tech feudalism".