Sunday, March 23, 2014

On the mentality of a politician

Reciprocity is the basis of all human relationships and because of that, most people want to earn a living in a way that benefits society. In a free-market economy, one must sell goods or services to others in order to obtain profits. Most customers are unlikely to make purchases unless they believe that doing so will benefit them. While it is true that customers often misunderstand what is in their best interest, they generally tend to purchase commodities that at the very least, appear to benefit them in the short-run.

Thus, to raise profits in a free-market economy, one must convince the consumers that the commodity they promote could be be useful even in the most superficial and short-term respects. By contrast, if one promotes goods or services through government programs that are imposed upon the entire population, he or she does not need to do that. Instead, that person must either become a politician by convincing voters that he is capable of serving their best interests or building an alliance with a member of the incumbent government.

The fundamental difference between the persuasive efforts of the entrepreneur and the politician is that the former must provide immediate evidence of how his product is useful to the consumer. By contrast, the latter must merely make it seem like it will be useful in the future. For example, President Obama promised that despite the rising health-care costs, the Patient Affordable Health-Care Act will improve the American healthcare system in the long-run. Similarly, Bush II did not need the immediate approval of the public to invade Iraq because the justification for this course of action rested on a dubious promissory note of making America safer.

Gross intellectual fraud is the basis of political discourse  because politicians rarely have incentives to provide immediate evidence that their programs serve their intended purposes.

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