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Striking at the Root By Lawrence Lessig Edited by Mana Junkie
So sometime before 1846, someplace close to this pond, Walden Pond, this man Henry David Thoreau wrote this: “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
Striking at the Root
Another legislator had a much more tweetable response. He said, “Wow, voting on the merits, right.” Now it’s that idea I want you to think about here - how often can we say that what we’re witnessing in our Governments voting on the merits? Or even forget voting on the merits, what about voting for what the people actually want? How often can we recognize that in what our government does?
Now some people look at this and they say, “Why is there such anti-free-market silliness in this free market country here?” The Political scientists can say, “Well, we can’t say with certainty why the silliness is here, but this is what we know – there’s an extraordinary amount of campaign cash inside the system.” And if it’s because of these campaign contributions then we say campaign money distorts markets which distorts food production which distorts our kids which at least makes it hard to believe that there was voting on the merits in these public policies. When I think about the recent debacle on Wall Street, of course we saw in 2008 the collapse of our economy thrown over the cliff by a collapse on Wall Street. Why is it we came to this bubble and disaster? Why did we regulate it like that?