To anticipate what is likely, let’s try to anticipate what the players want. We assume a politician wants power, wealth and security under which to enjoy them. If you have a different idea, feel free to express it. We assume that a voter wants whatever he can get, with the security to enjoy it.
We note that the interests of each are dependent upon a transaction between the two. For his success, the politician must claim a majority of the voters. For the voter’s success, two separate accomplishments are required: His politician must be the one elected, AND that politician must deliver his promise.
The statistics assure that the politicians’ goal is more likely of success than that of the voter. The human brain understood that even before statistics were understood. It means we suppose, that elections are a zero sum game; a politician who ‘wins’ does so at the expense of the voters. And vice-versa.
In support, consider that no matter what the elected politician does in office, it will rely upon the resources taken from taxpayers in one way or another. Politicians create no wealth; they only reallocate the wealth of others and that is usually to the detriment of the original possessor of that wealth. Again, feel free to point out our fallacies. Failing your doing so, we hold that elected politicians must be viewed as opponents of voter interests, at least in general.
There is another conflict too; described by political scientists (an oxymoron of sorts, we think) with the term: “subsidiarity.” The meaning is: Political decisions should be made at the level closest to their effects. The farther from its result a political decision is made, the less likely it will serve the interests of those most affected. Nevada roadwork should be decided in that state, not in Washington, if the greatest benefit of Nevada is to be served. Simple!
Unfortunately, the greatest good of the politicians is served by maximizing their power and control over events and resources, which requires that the decisions all be controlled from the top of the power pyramid. The greater goods of the taxpayers and that of the politicians are opposed at their root.
Thus America’s Founders did not trust government. This is Political Science 101, known for millennia; do you remember hearing it in public school? Who conducts the public schools? Q.E.D!
And hence we have seen the United States evolve from a place where folk trusted in God and were suspicious of government at its founding, to a place where folk trust in Government and are suspicious of God, today.
When enough citizens have had their noses rubbed in the results long enough, that tide will likely reverse once more … for a while. Then the cycle will start anew. That seems to reflect the way we are designed or if you prefer, the way we have evolved. Either way, one must suppose that there is some survival benefit in it, for the species if not for most of us.
Maybe we will figure it out eventually, if we hang around long enough?