Just Ask Them

President Barack Obama believes the rich taxpayers actually want to pay more in income taxes.  In a speech on April 13, 2011 at George Washington University President Obama said:

“I don’t need another tax cut. …  And here’s the thing: I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me.  They want to give back to their country, a country that’s done so much for them.  It’s just Washington hasn’t asked them to.”

I think we should ask.

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Why Do Politicians Fail Us?

In the democratic republic known as the United States of America we embrace the concept of a government “… of the people, by the people and for the people …”  (Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863).  Our founders recognized the foolishness of attempting to place every issue before everyone and the equally foolish single supreme leader of a diverse cultural population.

So, why does this system consistently seem to fail the population it represents?

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Do Politicians Lie to Us?

Of course they do.  The better question is “Why do politicians lie to us?”

In the United States, we have two political parties.  Yes, there are other parties than just Democrats and Republicans, but how many of those other parties actually matter?  Therefore, successful candidates for office, at almost every level, are either a Democrat or a Republican.  These parties are composed of huge numbers of individuals with similar political beliefs and principles.

As in any large organization, political parties are led by a small number of highly motivated and dedicated individuals who organize the membership and set the agenda.

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Why Inside the Bell?

A number of years ago my then teenage daughter exclaimed, “There are so many stupid people in the world.”  My somewhat glib answer at the time was to draw a normal distribution curve based on my belief that human IQ scores would fit such a pattern.  “If,” I told her, “people with low IQ’s were on the left and people with high IQ’s on the right, then most people would group around the center IQ score which is assumed to be 100.  If you are exactly average,” I drew a vertical line down the middle of the curve, “then half of the people in the world will seem stupid relative to you.”

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