2/6/2011 1:14:46 PM
Times Union: A smart use of political power
My friend the political scientist defines politics as the authoritative allocation of scarce resources.
I prefer English, I'd say that while it's politics that fixes how our
tax dollars are spent, it's more broadly about priority-setting. In this
country, that political task falls into the hands of people we elect.
of politics, we get an income tax break for what we pay in mortgage
interest, since we've decided that home ownership is good. Politics
mandated that we lay aside money to take care of us as we age (Social
Security, Medicare); politics decided tobacco is so bad for us that we
should discourage its use (cigarette taxes); politics pushed down the
death toll on highways (speed limits, seat belt laws, safety standards
for cars). Full article