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corrupt politicians
the new york times has an article about mayawati, chief minister of india's larges state. the headline calls her opulent and pugnacious, that's what she is and more. mayawati is an uncouth, unprincipaled, undeniably and eggregiously corrupt politician, as bad as another pet peeve of mine, jayalalitha. consider this,
In January, as the poor were freezing in record-low temperatures, she threw herself a 47th birthday party, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funds while collecting cash for her political party. She called it ``self-respect day.''
Draped with diamonds, she contrasted sharply with the understated homespun style that most Indian politicians deliberately adopt. The elite, not to mention her rivals, are still huffing about it.
she has capitalized on her dalit, lower class background, rallying the uneducated masses and capturing power, but she does not seem to have any qualms whatsoever, when the need arises, to form alliances with the very people she wilfully attacks on a regular basis. people like mayawati in power are a classic example of democracy's inherent weakness, of bestowing power to the wrong people, but what's the solution? i would say education, but even the most educated countries seem to have a fair share of scams by the people running the show.
i came across winterspeak on bonoboland which in turn i hopped on through, and saw an interesting and related post, an excerpt, with my emphasis
My take is that in a market, people have an incentive to study the issue and correct their biases, while in a political system, where you vote your identity, biases will go uncorrected and lead to wrong decisions. Watch me pull numbers out of thin air to buttress my case: the US spends $140,000 to save each life in highway accidents, but $2,000,000 to save each life from nuclear power. Public policy, therefore, has chosen to save fewer lives over more lives (or, if you prefer, kill more people over kill fewer people). Hardly an optimal social outcome.
good point.

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