Opinion: We need information to vote and govern

Brian O'Shaughnessy
Brian O’Shaughnessy

Brian O’Shaughnessy of New Haven is a principal in the firm Community Impact Strategies Ltd.  The mission of CIS is to facilitate the investment of public and private capital for the purpose of creating measureable improvements in human productivity and living conditions.

We sometimes forget that government and politics are two different functions. The connection — of course — is that if you win at politics, you get to govern.

Someone really smart — I forget who — observed that it takes different skills to gain power and to govern. This is very true. Historically, wars determined who ruled, and it is no different today. Gaining power requires an aggressive personality. Governing is more art than science. Equanimity is more important than blood lust.

As we enter the campaign season, we should be sensitive that the election process does not overly corrupt how we govern. Specifically, we should be sensitive to the competing versions of information.

Identifying one party as more virtuous than another is a complete waste of time. Both fight in the mud and get dirty. It is the election process that lacks integrity, and it bleeds into how we govern. The lack of “truthfulness” is destroying many civic values, primarily the belief in government. This will become painfully clear as the campaign unfolds and candidates “debate” the issues that will determine how we vote.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


3 responses to “Opinion: We need information to vote and govern”

  1. piberman

    One party not virtuous ? CT Democrats imposed the state’s largest tax hike and protected state employee jobs to cover the Recession generated state deficit. That’s virtuous ? Incredibly obtuse economics. No other state gollowed such policies. Why shouldn’t we complain loudly sbout competence ? CTs problems are really about competence and one psrty can’t demonstrate badic economic and fiscal competence.

    But they do know how to give $250,000 annual pensions to UCON teachers.

  2. Oldtimer

    It is painfully obvious that professor Berman feels he was short changed on his pension when he retired. A $250,000 pension for any retired teacher or professor does seem a bit generous, but I am sure that is unusual and most professors do not get anywhere near that much. The average state pension is about $27,000, but there are a few extremes that are extremely high, and UCONN retirees do seem to dominate the upper ranges.

  3. piberman

    Some facts on CT pensions:
    CBIA references a 2011 Census study finding CT leads the nation with $38k av. retirement pensions for state workers versus just $24k nationally. Moreover CT state workers contribute but 20.8% towards their pensions well below the nat’l average for state workers of 29.5%. And guess who ranks ladt in funding state pensions.

    The outrageous UCON pension is detailed in a recent Yankee Institute study. Legions of juicy 6 figure pensions for state employees were reported by the Instiute. But our Democratic Legislators couldn’t care less. Its only taxpayer money.

    Isn’t surprising that Democrat voters are withholding their effusive praise of Democratic Legislators who together wrought such havoc on CT. Have they no loyalty ! Tongue stuck in their mouths ?

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