Sunday, January 04, 2015

2014 Poll: Governmet The Biggest Problem

J.D. Tuccille looks at a recent Gallup poll where Government has gained the dubious distinction of being the country's biggest problem. It barely squeaked by the Economy this time, which came in second. For libertarians a win should be a win, right?

I'm not so convinced. Sure, Tuccille points out that, "A plurality of those surveyed (42 percent) tell Reason-Rupe pollsters that President Obama has expanded the power of the government too much. Majorities among younger Americans say that government is wasteful and government agencies abuse their power.". I'm not really sure that has much to do with why some consider Government the biggest problem.

The most common complaint I've read about government is its "...inability to get things done", along with the usual complaints about gridlock. It wouldn't surprise me if many of those citing Government as the big problem are doing so because it doesn't do enough, not because it does too much. And I'll bet a fair number of those 42% concerned about the government expanding too much and being wasteful and abusive also contribute to the over 90% re- election rate of incumbents. 

I'm not very impressed with the poll.


At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Publicly fund elections and then I'll begin trusting government.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I don't see that as any improvement. The same people in charge of elections now would still be in charge and they'd be deciding which candidates get funding. With the powers- that- be already favoring the two main parties, and suppressing alternate parties, I foresee that getting even worse. They might make it near impossible for less popular candidates to run.

I'm sure proponents will suggest that publicly funded candidates would not be "corrupted by campaign contributions...", or other "money in politics".

Paint me skeptical. There's too much largesse in government and those who seek favors. Notice how so many politicians end up with cushy jobs after they leave office, often with companies they worked with on legislation?

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, that's not how public funding of election campaigns work. The closest to your scenario would be if political parties still chose candidates for the ballot, but even in that worst case scenario, a libertarian party candidate would be presented on equal footing with the Democrat and Republican candidate.

It would be much harder to declare third party candidates as not viable and exclude them from public debates. In fact, such legislation often requires that third party candidates not be excluded from debates (the debates become part of the public process).

Virtually all of America's problems stem from the influence of money in politics.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Your claim is contrary to precedent as I see it. Major parties already try to rig the system in their favor. In some states, Oklahoma being one that comes to mind, they go out of their way to keep anyone other than Reps and Dems from being on the ballot.

Since those are the same ones who will make any eventual rules regarding public funding, forgive me for being skeptical.

But, I'll give you this: The vast majority of the time anyone other than Reps or Dems are given little attention, anyway. We've seen this in California where anyone can vote for anyone in the primary. Only Reps and Dems end up on the general election ballot. In a way it doesn't matter.


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