For all the apparent calamities of 2010, the year won't ultimately be a complete bust. I say this because one of my personal heroes, PJ O'Rourke, is set to release yet another book this year. Don't Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards should be on store shelves, appropriately enough, in time for November's midterm elections in the United States. In the video above, O'Rourke previews the book and talks, as well, about "committee brain," the Tea Party Movement, and the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
While I obviously haven't yet read the book, I suspect it will cover some of the same ground as this recent EconTalk podcast with Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts, in which they discuss the field of public choice. Boudreaux, who rightly sees politics - and politicians - without even a hint of romance, points out that Washington's majestic architecture and grand avenues tend to obscure the nefarious behavior that fuels the city. Specifically, what politicians essentially do is take resources from other people and bring them back to their home district for their benefit and the benefit of their friends. Not exactly conduct deserving reverence.
Says Boudreaux: "The fact that the people who commit that behavior are elected to office, have titles--that what they do is not legislated as criminal activity--does not mean it is good for society."
Fortunately, fellows like PJ O'Rourke are out there, ready to lampoon the whole spectacle.