Thursday, February 24, 2011

American Politics is just frustrating

The California High Speed Rail blog has an interesting article commenting on a Michael Byrne article basically arguing that major infrastructure improvements -- actually any major public works project -- that can't be completed while one federal administration is in power, is doomed to failure. That is due to partisan politicking and fundamentally different opinions on how tax payer money should be spent, as policies and priorities can change substantially from one administration to the next.

Both articles look at this through the eyes of infrastructure advocates. However, the same pattern is pervasive throughout all levels of government, federal, state, and even local.
In the end I strongly feel that the existing two-party and winner-take-all system is to blame for this, because it leads to a mentality of not wanting, nor needing to compromise. Even the media (TV, newspapers, Web sites) can be fairly easily classified into "right-wing" and "left-wing", catering to their respective constituencies for entertainment, and ad-dollars.

Balanced opinions and thoughtful commentary are hard to find in this climate of pervasive hyperbole. This just makes me sad.

On the positive side I do like the no-nonsense approach Governor Jerry Brown is taking in California. Granted, he has nothing to prove on the political front anymore, which is why he can comfortably play this role, and even propose raising taxes without committing political suicide. I'm very curious how this will play out over the next few months.

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