Should the public get to say what is to be cut?
David Cameron’s government wants to make immense cuts to public spending to reduce the deficit and eventually the national debt. He has proposed that we should be consulted on what to cut in some massive consultation. Is he simply trying to dodge the bullet by saying ‘you decided where to cut’?
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Time consuming , draws, bureaucratic inefficiency : He is definitely beating about the bush
A number of people will not vote.
A number of votes will tally and draws are probable making it hard to decide where and where not to cut. A number of people will not take the process seriously perhaps voting for unlikely candidates just to get a kick out of it.
The process will take time,energy,cost and will use up other resources that we should be saving at this time thus landing fairly smoothly in an entirely counter-productive position.
Cameron has a fair idea of what sectors are more important than others [health,police,food,basic needs etc over frivolous demands (such as fashionable imports etc, yes that Gucci/Armani/Chanel clutch is to die for but do you need it? would you 'rationally' prefer it over health,security,food and water? And would you want it so much if you didn't see it in local store windows and internet shopping sites at local prices?)] . He's just dragging on the decision making process ,playing games; that sort of thing: all signs of procrastination: Not a quality a leader should put on display.
The United Kingdom is a democracy ; polls rather than costing money create temporary jobs(for people who collect and count votes) and highlight the public part in true people's rule fashion.
Cameron has done a beautiful thing by suggesting to place the ball in our court. We should be grateful that we have a leader who cares for what we think.
While there are non-serious pranksters in our midst we should not let them strip the rest of us of the right to be politically active in deciding our expenditure for ourselves.
Any one who has studied fiscal and monetary policies in part/full understands the pivotal role the public (and its expectations play/)plays in their effectiveness(or conversely ineffectiveness).
This is true democracy
The idea behind a democratic state is rule for the people by the people. In the Greek times this was done by all the men in society gathering around and discussing how to rule the state. Now, we cannot recreate this democracy in our society due to the fact that there are far too many people! However, we can implement it in a different form; and this is what Cameron is doing. He is gathering together trade unions from differing sectors, academics and inviting some members of the public in order to discuss where the cuts should be spent. This is as close to the ideal democracy as we could possibly get. Well done Cameron.
It is not true democracy because he is not giving us a decision of either when the cuts will be or if they are needed. Cameron has simply decided that we will have a certain amount of cuts that will be implemented and has invited the public to show how much it disagrees with itself so that he can simply decide what he wants to cut in the end and say 'well we consulted you'.
If it was an ideal democracy even in this limited context each idea for a cut would be put online with the consequences explained and then anyone who cared could vote on that proposal. This would ultimately facilitate in coming up with a list of proposals that would/will have been voted up and a list that would/will have been voted down.
Counter: The Athenian democracy was hardly ideal. Women and the slave class(the majority of the people) had no say in anything.
It is our collective debt
We will often hear the phrase ‘the public purse’ ‘public expenditure’ ‘public debt’. But let us be frank. When have we ever had access to this purse? When have we ever expended money from the collective pool? When did we all decide to get into debt? We didn’t, the Government have taken the public purse out of our hands. However, this is the perfect opportunity for the public to take that purse and finally have a say in the incomings and outgoings of that purse.
The public opinion was never sought in both good times and bad.
The time has come for the people to be truly represented. For the voices of the public to be heard and for change to be a synthesis of collective intelligence. Cameron's proposed revolution is awesome and must be celebrated.
So it is our collective debt even though we had no say in what that debt was spent on and how much debt we allowed ourselves to get into. When the public purse was overflowing; did we get a say in how that money was spent? Of course not. This is simply the case of things going bad and the Government trying to minimise their responsibility in the situation! When things were going well, the public opinion was never sought. This is truly indicative.
He is not dogding the bullet ; he didn't cause the financial crisis
He is not dodging* the bullet ; he didn't cause the financial crisis:
He's a democratically elected politician and it is democratic to involve the public in major decisions.
It is understood that there will have to be cuts. It is in the public's best interests to decide for yourselves where we prefer the cuts to be in.
He would be dodging the bullet if he surreptitiously made cuts and pretended everything was fine and dandy on the economic front. However he is being straight. He's not pretending that there will not be sacrifices; he will make cuts; but the public decides where from.
Reiterating: this is the true spirit of democracy :you vote you decide.
Bravo to Cameron for letting the public decide on our/their spending priorities rather than be dictated/hoodwinked into spending cuts that will unpleasantly surface in the future .
Point is; if the public is dissatisfied by the consequences of spending cuts in certain sectors; Cameron will shoot back with: it was your 'call'. Even though; he's the one making the final decisions/cut.
Many people do not vote. What happens in the case of a very close(near 50-50) vote?
Different people have different priorities. Minorities will be unrepresented as their choices will be voted off.
Unless all votes on the subject are (completely or near)unanimous, a good number of people will be snubbed.
At least, when leaders do not call for a vote they aren't pretending to give 'power to the people'.
People are not qualified to make these decisions
There is a reason why the public have never before been consulted on these spending issues: because the majority of the public are not qualified to do so! We do not have trained financial advisers and trained accountants because making the numbers work is easy, we have trained advisers because the methodological workings of the economy are complex and all angles need to be considered. The public simply do not have enough information to make such big decisions on!
The politicians are not qualified either. Most of them are not economists and can not by themselves work out what spending cuts in a specific area might mean for the whole economy. Instead they rely on an army of civil servants and advisors(who in turn rely on statistics around public expectations,demands etc). These people could as easily upload their advice online as print it out and give it to a minister.
The British public cant be trusted to make the tough decisions
The British people have shown that they are not even qualified to run their own finances, personal debt in the UK is close to £1.5 trillion.[[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/business/borrowing_debt/default.stm]] Why should they be any better at effectively managing the country's finances. Everyone will just want cuts in the services that dont affect them leading to gridlock.
Ah so it's the people's fault is it? We are not educated/informed on 'how' to handle finances(not at all; that economists,finance gurus and Quants are in general agreement.) . We generally find out about cuts once we suffer the consequences.And now it's our fault; really?
And as any economist will tell you an economic model rests on the assumptions economists make about the public and financial markets. Since these assumptions differ, different economists come up with different conclusions on how to solve financial problems. Now, if in lieu of making assumptions we just 'ask' the people what they want, what they think is best and so on; our conclusions based on actual(as opposed to assumed) public choice/preference/expectations will be much more accurate.Normally we just take sample statistics and base our assumptions on those. Different samples different statistics.
Dissent on assumptions would be greatly reduced if not obliterated (as samples will not be taken; the entire population will be consulted; just like in an election except more specific decisions will be made) and our policies will be pretested to actually work. What an idea!
What do you think?