Bryan Caplan reminds us that the folks in Congress are not exactly like “us” poor slobs:
1. 54% of Congressmen are millionaires.
2. Consistent with the “limosine liberals” stereotype, eight out of the ten richest are Democrats.
Of course, the Founders were not exactly like us either. Defenders of modern Democracy probably see this as a virtue – as more and more I am running into the defense of Plato’s Philosopher Kings. Hard to take that seriously when folks like Pelosi, Dodd, Frank, or the Birther crowd are running around DC. And if we do take that seriously, what does that say about how stupid WE are?
Update: I just came across this from Arnold Kling, which says it much better than I ever could:
On the other hand, I am nowhere close to being as romantic about democratic government as the commenter quoted above. Democracy does not mean that everyone is slave and slavemaster to everyone else, as if we have perfect political equality. In the United States today, democracy means that most people have essentially zero political power, and a relative handful of people have almost unimaginable power. The central point of Unchecked and Unbalanced is to call attention to the extreme political inequality that has emerged in the United States, particularly over the past fifty years.
Higgs’ analogy appeals to me because I find it totally baffling that so many self-styled progressives are vociferously rooting for this political inequality to increase. They want technocrats making even more decisions, with even fewer political checks and balances. Given my opposition to this growth in political inequality, I find progressive ideology as jawdroppingly appalling as if I had been a 19th-century abolitionist encountering an ideology that says that what the world needs is a lot more slavery.