Saturday, March 7, 2009

Re: I'm not Joining the Strike

Brian Hurt recently made a post on Enfranchised Mind about the proposed refusal of internet authors to support candidates for office who aren't in favor of public campaign financing. He's against the "strike" for the obvious reason that it won't work, and seems to have a good understanding of the reason why: it's rather foolish to look for a solution to a problem from the people who created it in the first place.

The way I look at it, the first question that should be asked is: How prevalent is corruption in government? If it's just a small percentage of elected officials, the answer is to get rid of them. No finance reform necessary. If the problem is more pervasive, and a belief that it is is implied by the belief that campaign finance reform is needed, it won't work for the reason Mr. Hurt mentions: the solution will be implemented by people who are part of the problem. Any laws they pass will contain loopholes.

Mr. Hurt has a good answer to this dilemma. Everyone who blogs has a free press because they have a press. Decentralization of the media is absolutely a good thing.

However, there is a deeper problem. It's not just politicians who are corrupt. The system as it stands involves people voting themselves into other people's pockets. Anything government does beside set ground rules that apply equally to everyone, or provide infrastructure, inherently favors one group of people at the expense of others. This is corrupting by nature, and corrupts everyone involved. In the case of welfare-type provisions, the corruption is even worse because the people involved believe they're doing the right thing.

In the end, there's only one way to get money out of politics, and that's to get politics out of money.

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