Democracy and Economics

Democratic government has three unique economic challenges. One is providing appropriate education. Democracy requires that the general population be informed enough to elect and support wise, well intentioned leadership. Another obstacle is the protection of unrepresented groups of vulnerable people such as children. The third is the bullying effect that hijacks majority rule. Democracy, if it is to succeed, must cherish every life.

Education tends to be democratically disenfranchised because the percentage of people being formally educated at any time is less than about 25%, and most of them are not voters. Their parents in many cases vote for some of their interests, but they only represent about 45% of the population. Because of this and other tendencies symbiotic with this lack of representation there is a tendency to “cherry pick” successful students for super-citizenry. These students are treated better than their peers. Their earning power and influence are disproportionately greater than their contribution to society. In this way society is stratified. The three social layers are the “users”, the “used”, and the “undesirables”. This stratification is an economic time bomb that is waiting to explode. Natural economic forces require a mixture of human endeavors that are commensurately valued.

When democracy drifts off course it incentivizes the harvesting of disenfranchised strays, individuals and minority groups can be singled out for dehumanization. Once dehumanized, a minority’s labor, wealth, and credence can be harvested like a crop and fed to “users.” Dehumanization uses age, gender, skin color, income, or just about any other anomaly to justify unfair or inhumane, and often lethal mistreatment. This is a bullying effect of majority rule caused by any democracy that lacks a legitimate mission. Individuals look for representation because nothing is likely to happen in a vision-impaired democracy without a majority vote. Small responsive personal units, whose purpose is to provide service to the public at large, are absorbed by larger units who are legislatively empowered to devour them. The larger units’ purpose is to make a profit disproportional to service they provide. These are often large business / governmental units who selfishly exert monopolistic power. Emphasis changes from service to profit. Governmental sensitivity changes from people to money, as the cozy business / government relationship holds life threatening power over an increasingly dependent citizenry.

These three dangerous democratic tendencies need not devastate an entire civilization. Democracy does not negate the need to follow natural economic law, nor can it survive without a clear legitimate mission. Ignoring natural economic forces poisons the human environment and devalues human existence. Look for signs of greatness. It shines in the eyes of the vulnerable.

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