Groovicus, I was just posting my comment when I got yours in my e-mail. An excellent comment that you made, which is very deep and will require much consideration. Yours and Pandy's comments would suggest that, under our current political system, it would take someone with superhuman powers to withstand the constant battering and wearing down by others who are less concerned for the public good. So even the politicians who are not narcissistic could simply be too exhausted to make much effort. There are problems with the U.S. model and the parliamentary models available to us; I'm not sure what's left, but like our current economic models, none of them are serving us very well and we need to develop new language, concepts and models to discuss our current and near-future situation before we can hope to address it in any meaningful way.
If you look at the current discussions of the big 3 auto bailout versus the investment banking, commercial banking, mortgage company and insurance company bailouts, you will see one big thing missing from the analysis: what's in it for the politicians debating the relative "merits" of the bailouts. The pundits and news anchors speak of main street versus wall street and opposition and disdain for the working class. What it really comes down to is this: the financial firms give much, much more in political donations to both parties than the unions ever could. Conglomerates are much more attractive donors than us unfortunate sweaty masses (and I have worked primarily in white collar jobs). Big business can also offer lucrative, high profile jobs to politicians and their staffs who leave the public employ. [An update: on Rachel Maddow tonight, it was revealed that European and Japanese automakers are planning on opening 17-19 non-union plants in the South. The Southern politicians continue to bash the UAW, claiming that they earn $75 per hour--they don't, even with all benefits counted in. Also, many of the Big 3 plants are in the northern U.S., where living expenses are much higher, for various reasons. Tonight (Thursday, Dec. 11) and tomorrow, Keith Olbermann is doing a list at the end of his show of the top 25 most corrupt U.S. politicians. With descriptions of the miscreants and the misdeeds. Very pertinent to this discussion.)
Politicians talk a lot about helping the little guy. It doesn't take a communist or socialist government and economy to do that.
There are good guys on both sides of the aisle. But they need to work together and to convince some of the more self-interested in Congress that it's in the politicians' long-term best interests to do so. Most narcissists are extremely short-sighted. They're looking for near-future gratification and rewards. Also, patriotism should be redefined in terms that require American businesses to engage in civic responsibility. To quote the song (and I don't know which one) "We're all in this together."
Edited by fuzzywuzzy6, 11 December 2008 - 09:29 PM.