Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Optimism vs. pessimism?

In this post, I have a general issue and I would really be happy to hear some opinions. As a few people may know, I am a visiting student from Germany and therefore - obviously - not from the U.S.
Because of this, I personally might have a different view on such problems as we have discussed throughout the semester as most of you.
We all developed (or tried to do so) solutions for a specific problem and developed ways how these could be implemented when we worked in our group projects. In our discussions, a lot of students clearly said that they see the current way in which politics in Washington D.C. run as not satisfactorily or appropriate, therefore indicating that you think a change (in whichever way and direction) is necessary. In Europe, we have plenty of problems in certain policy areas and within the politics in certain states and on the level of the European Union. And from my personal view, I can say that most people are more or less convinced that only the often-mentioned "crisis" will be able to force politicians to act and change things fundamentally, like - with regards to Europe - a breakdown of an important member of the Euro zone. Now, Professor Taylor introduced us to extremely challenging fiscal problems the U.S. is facing in the next decade and we all "solved" the problems by balancing the budget. Therefore, I would like to ask you, what you "really" think? Do you think that this necessity will also come to the mind of the politicians in Washington and result in bipartisan and sustainable action? Or do you think that a "crisis" is really necessary, as many people in Europe do?      

1 comment:

  1. I think that as long as the incentive system in Washington promotes the self-interested actions of politicians we are locked in this staring match between two sides. The first thing we all learned in Political Science 101 was that Politicians want one thing: to be re-elected. My feeling is that until this behavior is modified, we will wait for events to change policy before politicians change policy. I hate to have to await a crisis, however, and would much rather work to restructure the rules and policies in Washington, forcing outdated institutions to better function. Sounds a lot like what we all have been working on in class...