07 Nov 2009

A "Nutty Alarmist" After 70 Years

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In the end agreement that planning is necessary, together with the inability of the democratic assembly to agree on a particular plan, must strengthen the demand that the government, or some single individual, should be given powers to act on their own responsibility. It becomes more and more the accepted belief that, if one wants to get things done, the responsible director of affairs must be freed from the fetters of democratic procedure.Friedrich Hayek, 1939


It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the fact that in a unicameral United States of America, we would now have passed both a comprehensive health care reform bill and also the most important piece of environmental legislation in the history of the world. Now that’s not the world we live in. Instead we live in a world where neither of those things have passed and where their prospects aren’t clear. But think back on this point the next time you hear someone say Obama is struggling with his agenda because he’s not centrist enough, or else that Obama is struggling with his agenda because he’s not left-wing enough.

The reality is that he’s struggling with his agenda because of the way our political institutions are structured.Matt Yglesias, 2009

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