Feed on

Nick Gillespie has a nice article claiming that neither the Team Nike nor Team Reebok parties have much of a future and that is because the technological trends toward decentralization are making much of their current platforms irrelevant. Go read the piece. But if there is an iron law of political and economic commentary is that we tend to read too much into short-term events. I think it would be nice, personally, if our personal experiences with decentralization mean we get a better brand of Democrat and better brand of Republican going forward, but I am afraid that this argument is not quite right. We forget that so long as people have clashes in values, and there is the opportunity to realize them through a political system, the political system is going to be delivering lots of stuff very few people want. And our increasing wealth, and our increasing need to customize our own lives means, I think, more latitude, not less, for future government representatives to “get things done.” My simple point though is that you should never read too much into the “meaning” of a result. Aren’t there a lot of statisticians out there? How much of the swings in political cycles can be explained by variance as compared to some fundamental underlying change? Were there a betting market, my money would be on “random variation.” In other words, I don’t see a “decentralization uprising” or a “Republican resurgence.” Of  course, I do not get paid to see otherwise.

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