Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Politics is more constrained than many people think

from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen
Political jobs would be torture for most people.  You have no freedom.  You are underpaid and over-bugged.  You lose a lot of your privacy.  You have to stop writing emails or saying what you think.  You don't get to read many good books or go for many quiet walks.  It's hard to be a non-conformist.  And so on.
Yet it's really hard to get top political jobs.  So who gets them?  People who truly, deeply love the power.
Plus "doing what the voters want" very often feels like, or can be described as, "doing the right thing."
There's not much to say in terms of the economic issues, the real lesson is that politics is more constrained than many people think.  Berating Obama for his lack of courage or his "failure to get tough" is simply denying or postponing this fundamental realization.

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