June 13, 2017

YES, THESE ARE THE STAKES:

But our childish and entitled political class continues to play with fire. Because it’s childish and entitled.

Related: Peter Berkowitz: The People vs. The Political Professionals. “A satisfactory argument for transferring more power to today’s elites would require addressing the people’s legitimate anxieties about the professional class. These include policy incompetence ranging from mismanagement of the economy and immigration to botching diplomacy and the conduct of war; politicization of the administrative state as illustrated by IRS targeting of conservatives during Obama’s first term; and the elite media’s use of double standards in reporting and opining about left and right. Underlying it all is the corruption of liberal education, which has become boot camp for progressivism, and of graduate and professional schools, which provide advance training in the progressive exercise of power. To play the vital role contemplated for them by our constitutional system, intellectual and political elites have a long way to go in regaining the people’s trust.”

Indeed they do. Remember, Hitler didn’t happen because of Hitler. Hitler happened because of Weimar, which was the failure of the people in charge of the liberal political order to maintain a liberal political order because they were weak, entitled, corrupt, and incompetent.

UPDATE: The Guardian, of all places, has something useful on this:

Even as their world came apart, the bankers clung to denial. By August 2007, the flagship hedge fund of Wall Street’s most prestigious firm was tanking fast – and what explanation came from the man at Goldman Sachs? “We were seeing things that were 25-standard deviation moves, several days in a row.” The bank was getting hit by events that were only meant to happen once every 100,000 years – and they were happening every day of the week. Given a choice between blaming their models or reality, Goldman’s bosses held the world at fault.

You know the rest because, a decade later, you and I are still paying for it. How the banks died, the world economy collapsed and most of us got poorer. How the financiers, mainstream economists and regulators were so detached from reality that they swore blind that such a catastrophe was impossible – even while it was under way.

Their reputation has never recovered. And as an economics journalist, I look across at politics and see the same process at work. Brexit, Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn: time after time, the political class has completely failed to understand the world they were governing, policing and analysing. Allow me to be blunt: our political crisis is also a crisis for our political class. And it is one from which I doubt they can recover.

At each major fork in the road, they have sped off down the wrong turning, while decrying the other as unimaginable. Each time, they have crashed.

We need to take a serious look at how we select these people. Our current method is not working.