November 29, 2014
Hanging by a Chad

Peter Friedrich sends this email: Interesting article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today. “America, You Got it Worse — a situation report in 45 paragraphs.” Sounds as sad to me as it sounds true.

Which sent me on my first visit to Google Translate, where I found these paragraphs among the 45. Sounds to me as if Peter is right.

7 . In contrast to France, which, if it really came in the past in a dead end, has an immediate given several times a new constitution, is in the excessively tradition-conscious — and verfassungshistorisierenden — United States unthinkable such modernization of the political structures.

8. This means that virtually no chance to introduce a parliamentary democracy. Despite all the difficulties, it provides a “dictatorship period” during which an elected party (or coalition) can enforce that for which they fought in the campaign. The American-style presidential considered inappropriate for the age of globalization, since no one, particularly apparent in spite of positive political decision-making power has. America is in danger of turning into a huge Belgium.

11. The occupation with which the Supreme Court consistently anti-modern as a legal Tea Party, can operate based on three sources: first, the choice of (predominantly conservative for the foreseeable future) constitutional judges for life; secondly, the possibility of free-floating creation of law, in the context of a casuistic oriented legal thought; and thirdly, ideally things that did not exist at that time so as facts to declare on the ideological default, to orient on the spirit of the founding fathers and unconstitutional.

12. In general, the judiciary is primarily due to the holes ever expanding comprehensive selection of judges, including the principle of public campaign financing by industry interests, if not undermined in their democratic legitimacy…

20. Even if one thinks the phenomenon Silicon Valley would really be repeatable: Were the basic conditions of the then IT revolution really comparable to the conditions of the environmental and energy revolution of tomorrow? At that time it was enough to come forward with new ideas. The financing of Internet startups is known to be relatively cheap (“Seven people in a garage”...).

21. In the environmental revolution, however, the amortization of projects over much longer investment periods is required. Is American politics at all today in a position to stake periods of thirty years reliable? In Congress, the renewed tax rebates for research and development spending by companies at best in two-year periods? And what help because investors who want to take along everything and risk-free quickly and with a high “return”, but when possible?

25. This is all the more so as the same policy interests — is downright noisy — because of private campaign financing. A Kremlin strategist once said that Putin’s United Russia is modeled after the American party system. He leaned in trust to his American interlocutors over and whispered promising: “We both know that Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin, right?”

26. The American media are more dependent on advertising revenue than elsewhere, both in terms of what newspapers as well as what television. A simple test question: Which industries were on average for most advertising revenue of the media? Automobile manufacturers, construction, financial services and pharmaceutical manufacturers. And which industries collapsed a few years ago? Cars, construction and banks, while the pharmaceutical companies (including other health care providers) so far managed to prevent a cost-saving reform.

27. Because the American media for material self-preservation interests do not bite, they contribute almost nothing to the timely combat efficiency and apparent lack of modernization. Hindsight is of course closely involved with it, to make an equally intense and stylistically brilliant analysis, to reap in the hope that after it’s too late at least a Pulitzer Prize for groundbreaking reporting. Overall social responsibility is different.

37. Can a modern industrial and service economy ever get back on their feet, when used as “bureaucrats” describes government officials and members of the public service exception (the favorite formula of Republicans)? Not that there were no irregularities in the management, but they are no worse than in Europe. What it says on the inner peacefulness of a society, when the entire public service is described in the same hatred perspective, as for the term “communist” was the case at the time of the Soviet Union?

44. Will the United States until then modern, though the country, not only in the births “majority minority”, but if minorities make up the majority of the electorate? If women in politics and in professional life more dominant? A wise observer of American politics, said the day of the confirmation of George W. Bush’s election by the Supreme Court, that a decade ago, now begin the last great gasp of “white Anglo-Saxon man.” There are many indications that she was right.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at November 29, 2014 04:13 PM
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As to paragraphs 25 and 26, we seem to regard the cost of modern campaigns as unacceptably high but something we unfortunately can't do anything about. Freedom of the press or something. This is false. The cost is primarily for TV ads, and TV makes its billions from the bandwidth allocated to it by the government. We could easily and legally compel the networks to carry political ads free, and many other countries do so.

Posted by: Red Tide on November 30, 2014 5:48 PM

"Last great gasp?" Be nice if she was right, but we're harder to kill than that. Only the good die young.

Posted by: Aitch Jay on December 1, 2014 3:59 PM
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