Wednesday, November 03, 2010


It was Winston Churchill, I think, (I’m sure I could look it up), who said something like, “Democracy is the worst form of government there is…except all the others.”

After last night, I’m not sure I believe that anymore.

Give me a good old-fashioned benevolent dictatorship—and better yet, install me as dictator—and I think government could be far superior to what we’re getting by letting the citizenry express their own preferences.

I say this not as the fascist I’m sure I sound like, but rather, in compassionate appreciation of the human condition: homo sapiens in the 21st century simply don’t know what’s good for them and would do better in getting what they really want by having some kind soul—me, for instance—tell them what they actually desire.

Take, for instance, the failure of Proposition 1098, which would have created an income tax in our state for people making way more money than they can easily spend in a month (unless, of course, they shop magnificently for their favorite writer of 327-word essays); it lost by an almost 2 to 1 margin because, apparently, many people who make way less than that are of the opinion that they’re going to win the lottery someday and want to avoid the associated tax burden should they do so.

But, of course, what they really want is to live in communities that are safe, have good schools, and which provide desired services like roads, fire and police departments, and maybe even a public library or two. Unfortunately, these might require resident billionaires to pony up a slightly larger share of their eminently disposable income than they do currently, a fact that, even more unfortunately, was overlooked by the bulk of the electorate.

A benevolent dictator or philosopher-king (I’m right here!), however, could see this quite clearly and simply pass a decree that would fill state coffers with all the necessary funds, making everyone—even billionaires—much happier.


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