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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

Making Sense Of The Shutdown

Think of yourself, for just a minute, as a consumer of political action. Because if you do, what’s going on in Washington might make some sense.

For a long time, American consumers have been the richest in the world. In our society, you get the impression that money makes people “big spenders,” people with power.

Yet we as a nation of consumers appear helpless in the face of the political drama going on in our nation’s Capitol.

The obvious question is, how come?

In every other facet of our lives, consumers are king and everyone else is a servant. Isn’t it true that consumers are the individuals who dictate the products and the channels of distribution for them and how much they will cost?

If this is remotely true, how did we end up on the short end of the political marketplace?

There seem to be peculiarities and inconsistencies to a politician’s behavior that cannot be described as fair or whimsical, but more accurately, complex and varied. Most consumers demand combinations or some kind of balance in many of their selections.

Voters, acting as political consumers, elect candidates to handle our affairs in Washington, D.C., and it is certainly beginning to look as if the consumers in this situation have picked a few rejects to lead our nation.

There are many intelligent people who spend their entire academic life trying to predict human behavior. Now we find ourselves in a situation where these studies conducted with rats and monkeys do very little to explain why anyone would want to shut down our government.

It’s likely some political scientist is studying the political consumers’ behavior right now and, chances are, the research will show strong and convincing evidence that because politicians are driven by a desire to rule or have a statue erected in their honor, what they do is totally unpredictable.

So there is no need for a theory that will explain why they vote or act one way or another. As to why voters choose one candidate over another, it appears they do it by some unknown quality. The political consumers pick like they were buying dessert.

What is pretty obvious is that some of the politicians we have now don’t care about the anguish the voters are going through at this particular moment as they play out their political drama.

It is equally obvious that this drama has more to do with the next presidential election than the economics of a deficit or a health care plan.

We even have pictures of the entire fiasco, which is proof you shouldn’t conduct any kind of negotiation in public. If you do, it is nothing more than a show and not a negotiation.

To understand the shutdown of the U.S. government, our political scientists would probably get closer to the truth by studying marital, industrial or occupational behavior.

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