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7 posts tagged big oil, bigger government

Thinking Ahead

We’ve turned politics into a career, which means it’s a career focused on getting re-elected…

I’m not sure I’m as optimistic about the voting public, as a whole, but I do agree that—outside of dogma—the average, informed citizen is thinking further down the road than the average politician. And that saddens me. Our system essentially necessitates it. We’ve turned politics into a career, which means it’s a career focused on getting re-elected (short-term) rather than doing hard, good things for the country (long-term).

Flat Tax

I don’t understand at all why it has taken so long to get to this point. A flat tax seems so painfully obvious as the best way to manage income tax. The only thing I can think is that, for the most part, the people who benefit most from the current tax system are the ones in charge of managing said system. Surprise, surprise.

I hope Fred’s right. I too would be excited to see a true simplification of the tax system.

Lobbying

We get what others lobby for…

Interesting take by Mat Honan. I can’t say I disagree.

I think the main feeling I have walking away from today is shame.

Today was interesting. I don’t usually find myself caught up in the sorts of protest-type “movements” that we saw today, but this one got me. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Whether Mat is 100% correct or not, I think the main feeling I have walking away from today is shame. Shame that it got to this point. As a country, how do we continue to put people in power who are so ready to listen to special interest groups? Is it simply because sometimes our special interests get listened to and we feel like we got a win?

The very existence of SOPA/PIPA (and the lobbying efforts that birthed them) underscore a deeper problem in our current political system. It’s deeper than money in politics, corporate lobbies, or congressmen who don’t understand the internet. I think we’re facing the result of making politics a lifelong-career of the privileged and attention-seeking. How different would Washington be if everyone knew they only had—at the most—a few years to do the work they were elected to do?

The American Wireless Galapagos Syndrome: How the industry set itself up for a rout

He’s talking about the US wireless market, but he might as well be talking about our wired broadband internet market. We’ve backed ourselves into a corner in both industries, and while I’m usually a fan of free market forces, there’s a role for government here. In fact, we’re in the situation we are in because of government intervation and regulation that has simply been short-sighted and not focused on the long-term utility and public good that these services provide.

The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The Case of WikiLeaks

This is one of the more well-thought-out and well-reasoned op-ed pieces that I’ve read on Wikileaks, the internet, and our changing culture. It’s long, but you owe it to yourself to read, regardless of what side if the discussion you think you fall on.

Lend Me Your Earmarks

Hmm, I followed you right up to the point where you excused the whole mess by saying, “that’s just how it is.” I mean, really, you’re essentially saying that some people think earmarks are worth fixing—even if the budgetary impact would be minuscule—and you’re arguing they shouldn’t simply because no progress is better than some progress. I can’t seem to grasp that.

Avertible catastrophe

(emphasis mine)

If this article is accurate, how are several of these items not at the forefront of national discussion (much less, the presidential agenda)? It’s easy to be pissed at BP and its counterparts (and rightly so), but we should be absolutely livid with a government that seems to be putting labor lobbies, impractical environmental regulations, and general bull-headed hubris ahead of allowing our international friends help us fix this mess.

Where does common sense fit into bureaucracy? I’m wondering if it simply doesn’t.

(via Geoff Barnes)