Friday, March 10, 2017

Is Politics Becoming More Important?

From an interview with Peter Thiel:
A bull market in politics has arrived. . . . I am not sure this is a good thing, but it is a fact that maybe politics is becoming more important and more intense, the range of outcomes is becoming greater.
An interesting thought. It seems to me that political participation in America has trended downward since 1960 because of two big groups of people:

  1. those to whom things seem pretty much ok no matter who is in power
  2. those to whom things seem terrible, but to whom there doesn't seem to be any meaningful difference between the parties, neither of which offers any sort of radical change.

But if neo-socialists like Sanders are vying for control of the Democratic Party, and the two most important forces in the Republican Party are libertarians and working-class nationalists, then perhaps the range of possible outcomes has dramatically expanded. I am not really sure about that, and I expect more gridlock rather than any sort of radical change. But Kansas, to take one example, did embark on a fairly dramatic experiment with cutting taxes, and it strikes me that other bold actions might happen in various states: besides huge tax cuts, big experiments with education or health care reform seem possible to me.

On the one hand this has interesting potential, but upon reflection I think I would like our politics to be as boring as possible.

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