When you compare governments (modern or historic), it looks like good governments are those that do several foundational things very well, and that almost all the benefits of good governance flow from these things. These foundational things are often those that reduce the incentive to make personal investments in political outcomes. Unfortunately, this means people living under good government tend to become blind the reasons why their government is actually good.

For example, not having to bribe low-level officials is worth at least 10000 correct decisions on the latest gun-control proposal. Some other examples would be avoiding patron-client patterns, having a meritocratic bureaucracy, being able to collect taxes from everyone, having a non-political military and an independent judiciary, keeping kinship away from politics, not having civil/religious/ethic violence, having some sort of consensus that markets are okay, and so on.

My country (USA) does a pretty decent of most of the foundational issues. However, when I look at the distribution of my fellow citizens strategies, I still think it would be good if more people just patterned matched political issues against something like corruption or balance of power, and cared less about things like gay marriage, gun rights, abortion, etc.

My country (USA) does a pretty decent of most of the foundational issues.

I'm not sure that the US does anymore get the fundamentals right.

In the savings and loans crisis 1,000 bankers got convicted by the Justice Department. In the recent crisis very few if you ignore people like Bernard Madoff nobody went to prison. Even for washing billions of drug money nobody at a company like HSBC got a prison sentence.

The US has various armed defense contractors that spend a lot of money on lobbying. There are something like a politicized military that feels the need of regular annual growth of 10%. The extend to which the NSA can influence political decisions is also unclear.

13Vaniver6yThis is one of the reasons asset forfeiture and police/city reliance on revenue from fines worries me as much as it does.

Non-standard politics

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read24th Oct 2014235 comments


In the big survey, political views are divided into large categories so that statistics are possible. This article is an attempt to supply a text field so that we can get a little better view of the range of beliefs.

My political views aren't adequately expressed by "libertarian". I call myself a liberal-flavored libertarian, by which I mean that I want the government to hurt people less. The possibility that the government is giving too much to poor people is low on my list of concerns. I also believe that harm-causing processes should be shut down before support systems

So, what political beliefs do you have that don't match the usual meaning of your preferred label?