As the late economist and social thinker Mancur Olson taught, political bargains of the past are the burden of the future. The U.S., like California, is a country that has grown old thinking of itself as young. By now, we’re one of the world’s most aged experiments in representative government, and increasingly paralyzed by an accretion of calcified institutions like Social Security or California’s water politics.
I like 2 parts of this.
… Political bargains of the past are the burden of the future.
This is why Obamacare is so problematic. It wasn’t even a political bargain: it was approved by one party with zero crossover votes. Yet the burden will fall on all of us.
And that’s from someone who wasn’t averse to the idea of doing something about healthcare. I just didn’t think wanting to do something should turn into we did any old thing that sounded good at the time.
The U.S., like California, is a country that has grown old thinking of itself as young.
I don’t necessarily think of the U.S. as old. But are we the middle-aged guy who aches every time he plays basketball? Maybe so.
This is from his opinion piece “California’s Water Woes Are Priceless”. More broadly, the piece is about how water is short in California, yet its price is held artificially low, and everyone acts surprised. Duh.