The editor’s opinion from Marketplace, Northeast Wisconsin’s business magazine. (Obligatory disclaimer: Most hyperlinks go to outside sites, and we’re not responsible for their content. And like fresh watermelon, peaches, pineapple, grapefruit, tomatoes and sweet corn, hyperlinks can go bad after a while.)

August 4, 2008

Analysis of the Day

University of Wisconsin Prof. Donald Downs (professor in my UW criminal law class, by the way) in Sunday's Wisconsin State Journal on "Change we can believe in," which isn't based on the presidential race:

The deeper problem is the "political class" itself, the members of Congress (and their worshipful entourages) who often seem more content to luxuriate in the perks of power than to do what is necessary for the national interest.

Sure, the parties are beholden to different major interests, such as Big Business, Big Oil, Big Education, and Big Law (Torts). But none of these interests holds out any promise of constructive change, just a reshuffling of the deck of political business as usual.

We confront not a partisan problem, but rather an institutional problem.
Downs has a nonpartisan suggestion for the Nov. 4 congressional elections:

Re-elect those who truly stand for constructive change, and throw out those dedicated to maintaining the perquisites of the political class.

The incumbency protection racket makes this a Sisyphusean struggle, but Congress's 15 percent national approval rating (half that of one of the most unpopular presidents on record) provides a measure of hope.

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