Recently, I received an e-mail with a “Tik Tok” attached.
It featured a video of a middle-aged man promoting the idea of licensing politicians.
His argument? We license doctors, truck drivers, real estate agents, etc., why not politicians? The requirement for becoming a politician would be some sort of useful degree – in political science, economics, or whatever. It almost sounded reasonable.
Then his real point emerged. By licensing politicians, we could demand they had insurance so when they did something with cost overruns or was “wrong”, we could sue them and re-coup the money.
In particular, he wanted to go after politicians because fuel is costing us twice as much and food prices have tripled. The politicians should pay, was his battle cry.
There are so many things wrong with this video, not the least is the assumption a degree makes someone better able to make judgements and work in the public interest. While it helps and is certainly a measure of some form of intellectual achievement, it should not be a criterion. Over the years, I have seen many students graduate who I would gladly see in government and an equal number I wouldn’t.
But the real fault with his rant was his contention that the price of fuel and food has anything to do with politicians. It is one of the crazy things with our present government systems that we think the people in charge are both all-powerful and all knowing. They can alter prices and change the rate of inflation with the snap of their fingers or maybe with their votes. Absurd!
If utopia could be created by legislation, we would all be living in a perfect society!
Certainly, the structure of a perfect society has been bantered about in academic journals and popular literature. The STAR TREK franchise is one in which no one goes hungry and everyone is employed in meaningful work they enjoy, all for the greater good.
However, in our modern society, it is market forces which rule. The price of fuel is not tied to legislation but the desire of large corporations to make a profit. Same goes for the price of food and goods. And such organizations abuse their social license to maximize their profits.