Pragmatism Will Send Us Broke

Some may laud political pragmatism as a virtue but in the long run it is more beneficial to politicians than the public.

Pragmatism Will Send Us Broke

Politics has become the pursuit of pragmatism.

To some, that may sound like a good thing. After all pragmatism is a philosophy that evaluates options on their prospective outcomes. That logic is underpinned by the thought that to be effective, every decision should have a successful result.

I suppose that would be a valid concept if the over all objective was related directly to the decision in the first place. Unfortunately politics doesn't work like that.

The objective for every politician and political party is getting re-elected. It's no longer about doing the right thing (was it ever?) or taking the long view. They simply can't afford to do that. Unfortunately we can't afford to have our politicians abandon that view either.

Every political decision creates winners and losers. The aim of the game is to have more winners on your side of the ledger than those you lose to the other team when it's time to vote. It's a cold numbers game done in full knowledge that your opponents will exploit every grievance, error or maladministration for maximum benefit along the way.

That leads to decisions that may violate the ideological fortress of your chosen side in the pragmatic view that it will help you gain or retain power. I perfectly understand that position even though I think it is seriously diminishing our country.

Reducing democracy to effectively buying votes through government handouts is sending us broke. Further, it does nothing to sate the unquenchable thirst for more and more. Once one demand is met another rises in place. Nothing is ever enough for recipient or giver as the race of competitive populism gathers pace.

The biggest problem with these 'solutions' that reward the most vocal whiners is that they seldom have a sunset clause or retreat button. Once introduced, they become a 'right' and beware the public's political wrath should you ever try to take it away.

That's where pragmatism lets us down. The desire to stop some squeaks leaves you oiling more and more wheels until you can't keep up - or run out of oil.

In my view we are rapidly reaching that point.

Sure we can print money, keep borrowing and kick all the cans of consequence down the road but at some point it will come to a very unhealthy end.

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