Incoherent Democracy, Again
Ezra Klein touched yesterday on one of my favorite themes: The public’s stated preferences are unbelievably incoherent. Poll after poll demonstrates it, in one issue area after another.
- To cut Social Security for the wealthy. But no cuts to Social Security.
- To raise the retirement age to 69. But again, no cuts to Social Security.
- To cut Medicare for the wealthy. But no cuts to Medicare.
- Don’t cut education, either. Instead, cut federal subsidies to the states. (These are in large part subsidies for education and Medicare, with some infrastructure too. Any guesses on whether the public wants to cut infrastructure?)
And we wonder why democracy leaves us unsatisfied. Given our stated preferences, there is literally nothing that could satisfy. Except maybe saying one thing and doing another.
Oh, and we wonder why politicians are dishonest, too.