Ask anyone you know if they agree with this: “We used to say that money buys power. Now power decides who gets the money.” You will not find Americans very divided about that. Politics has become a more desperate concern.
We agree that the system favors the elite. In the Great Recession, government enacted a solution to save homeowners, and yet the experts turned it into a binge for the banks and 10 million homes were lost. Old ideologies are no help. Capitalism and socialism are about control of property, like factories and land. Today, the income elites are experts, professionals in medicine, law, finance, and technology. Lacking solutions, our leaders fall into partisan blame.
The Left sees an elite of rich, white, nationalistic, Christian, male reactionaries using racism and sexism among rural and blue collar Americans to defend their entrenched interests, keeping everyone else down. The Right sees a cultural elite of rich, upper educated, multiethnic, globally oriented, atheist to agnostic, “woke” radicals who despise everything America has ever been, done, or believed, and who are exporting jobs, taxing away what hard work has earned, and using it to bribe the idle.
We are not divided. We have been divided.
American institutions were designed to make principles actually work. We are more pragmatic than dogmatic. In recent decades, though, well-tested rules of professional ethics and prudent finance have been weakened, driving up our ambient uncertainty.
Organizations face uncertainty by hiring experts and buying computers. We expect legal, medical, technical, and financial wizards to protect us from uncertainty the way aristocrats protected peasants from barbarians. But they do it by paying each other more.
My suggestion? Take a look at the website for the Problem Solvers Caucus. Principled pragmatism still exists.
By Scott Corey