What a coinky-dink!

Right-wing government in the UK is just as corrupt and incompetent as right-wing government in the U.S.

Turns out that in the UK, as in the US, right-wing rule is associated with corruption and incompetent economic management.

Hudathunkit?

One of the key facts about any society is whether the people running it care more about how the society as a whole does or about their relative standing. Third-world kleptocracies stay in place partly because it’s better to be a rich man in a very poor country than a slightly richer man in a somewhat less poor country. Looks like our Hedge Fund ruling class prefers lousy economic performance and more income inequality to good economic performance and less income inequality. A very bad sign.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on “What a coinky-dink!”

  1. Any evidence that Murdoch’s operation was any less cozy with Blair’s New Labour? I’ll grant you the differential economic incompetence.
    Cameron, Hunt, Clegg, and Blair are members of the same class and subclass of well-heeled London professionals. But the Tory leadership, unlike Labour’s, extends into real money. George Monbiot has a nice story on the gravel pit in a wildlife conservation zone the (genuinely wealthy) Tory Richard Benyon plans to dig in the park of his stately home. He’s the junior minister responsible for wildlife!

    1. Tony Blair was Margaret Thatcher’s true heir. He is a Tory in the costume of a Laborite. He is indistinguishable from Cameron. He was happy to serve Rupert Murdoch and the bankers and now he is reaping the rewards for a lifetime of service to Davos man. Now he has money, too.

  2. No coincidence at all! It is what should always be expected. In fact, we should conservative-competent management to be a rarity, based strictly on the model of political structure that conservatives represent. Conservative politicians–whether they think it through or not–tend to rely on inflexible and absolutist rhetoric. Absolutism is also at the heart of conservative political philosophy. That leads to pervasive Platonism in the ranks. Being conservative entails having a sense of moral superiority over not only the opposition, but also over constituents. And, of course, in a Platonic universe, morally and intellectually superior beings are granted the privilege of governing the masses without the benefit of supervision by others. Essentially, being outside the cave implies being outside the law. Furthermore, since they make no mistakes (in their minds, of course, not in reality), there is no need to review and revise, so minor incompetencies that are easily correctable in non-conservative administrations, become massive sinks that prevent corrective measures by virtue of becoming the infallible policy. This is why conservative ideas get crazier with time and eventually lead to totalitarianism.

    A valid objection would be to raise the issue of “left” totalitarianism. The trouble is, that Left Totalitarianism is virtually indistinguishable from the Right Totalitarianism in its political philosophy. The only difference is the beneficiary of the regime, as well as the political targets. But the self-ascribed infallibility, moral superiority and the consequent lack of self-reflection are very much in parallel.

  3. Mark: “One of the key facts about any society is whether the people running it care more about how the society as a whole does or about their relative standing. Third-world kleptocracies stay in place partly because it’s better to be a rich man in a very poor country than a slightly richer man in a somewhat less poor country. ”

    I’d add that somebody who’s doing extremely well in a corrupt system would almost certainly do far less well in a more honest system.

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