Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In "whom" we trust now?

As problems pile up on all fronts, I am increasingly worried that our fate lies in the hands of semi-intelligent people with an enormous ability to pontificate.
No, I am not talking about university professors; wait, am I? :-) I am not convinced about the wisdom of the crowds either.

David Rothkpof, take it away:

Watching the House interrogation of Wall Street leaders demonstrated conclusively to me that one of the greatest causes of the problems we face is that members of the House (and the Senate) simply do not have a clue about how finance works. Ask any group of 10 of these honorable yabos how a credit default swap works and one might know the answer, if that.

This is a broader problem. In a recent conversation with a retired Senator, a very prominent, respected former committee chair, he said that he guessed on a critical issue, like energy, there are only perhaps 3 or 4 legislators who actually understand our energy choice options well enough to write sensible legislation or understand what is said in a hearing. The problem is getting worse as technology, finance, even international affairs are getting more and more complicated, our legislators are falling farther and farther behind in their understanding of the fields for which they have oversight or other responsibilities.

This is not a snipe at Congress...okay, it is, but that almost seems too easy, like joking about Bush's intellect or Simon Cowell's man-boobs, but this is a serious problem, one of many with what is by far the most dysfunctional branch of the United States government.

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