The problem with post-truth politics

So, increasingly we live in a world where people believe what they want to believe, regardless of facts – this of course has been true for a long time in the case of conservatives (it’s very clear if you consider the delay line effects that when liberals are in power, the economy does better, yet conservatives always claim their policies are better for the economy, for example – and it’s been demonstrated repeatedly that the laffer curve does not play out the way the politicians claim it will and yet over and over people fall for the idea of the laffer curve – which is the core idea behind the failed Trump-era tax cuts)

One of the problems we have is that our political system exerts no punishment for being wrong, and politicians who are in fact appealing entirely to emotion continue to be re-elected based on doing the wrong thing over and over because that’s what their electorate, who prefer to live in a post-truth world and are aided by lying news sources (i.e. fox news), want and believe.

I think we need to add some sort of closed-loop automatic firing of politicians who guess wrong. It’s already been demonstrated that inside a capitalist system, it’s profitable to keep lying to the people, and the net result is that the system optimizes for the happiness of a few select individuals at the cost of the happiness of the group as a whole. I think we literally do need to automatically fire the people who, for example, vote in favor of the lying about who won the election, or vote in favor of the laffer curve, or whatever the lie of the week is. At the moment this would advantage the democrats, who are by and large making data-driven and science-driven decisions, but I am sure at some future date they will fall victim to the same rot that has taken over the republican party, so this is really a nonpartisan suggestion over the long haul. The decisions we drive the ship of state using should not be based on lies and wishful thinking.

Of course this probably means we shouldn’t have religious folks in politics, since the vast majority of religion seems to be built upon lies and wishful thinking as well. It would be a dramatic departure from history – and I don’t know of anywhere that has actually tried it – to, for example, require unit tests for success to be written for every law that is written, and require the law to be struck if the unit tests fail – and if someone enacted the law after being warned that history indicates this type of law tends to fail, require that person to be looking for a new job as well.

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