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My Politics Wish List

I try not to get too political on this blog.  But politics is something I'm deeply conflicted about.  As a business owner, I want the government to stay out of my way.  But as the son of an immigrant, I value inclusive domestic policies.  I don't feel like either party represents me well.

As I've written about before, there are only a few things I know to be true.  And nothing in politics is among them.  But there are definitely some things I think are true about politics today which really bug me:

1) Politicians seem to think they need to know the answers to everything.  They're dealing with some of the most complex issues on the planet.  It's OK to say "I don't know."  It's OK to lean on experts for answers to inform decisions.  It's not a sign of weakness.  I wish more politicians would be honest about that.

2) Politicians rarely talk about the cost of a decision.  Every action incurs a cost.  I often hear promises, but I hardly ever hear about the costs that will be incurred to execute on those promises.  I wish, when a special interest group asked for something from a politician, s/he would respond with "what would you suggest be cut to provide for that?"  And then let whatever group is affected by that proposed cut have a say in the matter.  There's no framework today to have discussions like that.  

3) I wish politics were a part-time job for people who had other day jobs.  It used to be that way.  Politics should be an amateur sport, not a professional one.

Politics At Your Workplace: Or, Is It A Game Worth Playing?


Question from a reader --

Hi Sebastian,

You mentioned in "On Disagreeing With A Client's Plans" that there are benefits to being good at politics, looking good, etc. Why should one invest his or her energy in politics (activity A) rather than activities X, Y, and Z?


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