what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Taking on the system - credit where credit is due

I try to avoid references in this blog to personalities and „hot” news and issues – whether DSK, the Arab risings, Wikileaks, the financial crisis etc – on the basis that this is what most blogs and media focus on and there is nothing useful for the rest of us to say. But one article about Sarah Palin I have to share – since it puts a very different slant on her work and raises the interesting question of what might have happened if she had stuck to her own initial script rather than the one the extreme Republicans gave her after her nomination as the Republican’s VP Candidate.
Palin’s achievement was to pull Alaska out of a dire, corrupt, enduring systemic crisis and return it to fiscal health and prosperity when many people believed that such a thing was impossible. She did this not by hewing to any ideological extreme but by setting a pragmatic course, applying a rigorous practicality to a set of problems that had seemed impervious to solution. She challenged supposedly inviolable political precepts, and embraced more-nuanced realities: Republicans sometimes must confront powerful business interests; to govern effectively, you have to cooperate with the other side; you sometimes must raise taxes to balance a budget; and doing these things can actually enhance rather than destroy your career, whatever anybody says. True reform—not pandering to the base—established Palin’s broad popularity in Alaska. This approach is sorely absent from most of what happens in Washington these days.
The full article - The Tragedy of Sarah Palin - in the current issue of the Atlantic tells an amazing story of how she (a) came to take head-on the Oil Giants and corrupt Alaskan politicians they had in their pocket; and (b) put together an unlikely coalition with opposition politicians to pull off an incredible deal for the State. And some of the corrupt politicians were duly arraigned and imprisoned. The article give suseful chapter and verse.
Political systems these days need individuals who are prepared to take on the strong financial interests which are destroying us – and it is indeed a tragedy that she ran on a completely different ticket!
OECD insights has a useful post on this very subject of battling graft (corruption)

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