Do We Actually Have “Representative Government”?

When someone says that we here in the US have “representative government”, my first question is “representative of exactly just who?”  Take a look at the listed occupations of our Senators and Representatives:  About two thirds of the Senate is composed of lawyers.  Over a third of the House is composed to lawyers.  There are also a number of doctors, along with the other professions represented in Congress.  The President is a lawyer, as is his wife.  The governor of the state in which I live (Michigan) is a member of the bar.  Lawyer seems to be the most likely occupation of politicians.  My local state representative is a high school science teacher (another professional).  So the various professions are very well represented in government.  Unfortunately not very many of us belong in the professions even if most of our elected representatives are now licensed professionals of one kind or another.  Most of us don’t have professional level educations either.  The majority of Americans are “working class” people.  So why are we represented by members of the professions?  Why do these people end up in politics so often?  Also, the incomes of our political leaders, even before they were elected, was in most cases considerably higher than the average incomes of those who elected them!

Looking at the above, it becomes obvious why these people cannot truly represent us.  For one thing, most of them haven’t lived the sort of lives that most of us do.  Or earned the income that licensed professionals such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, and others do.  Effectively we are being governed by those of the economic upper class.  Obviously their viewpoint on a lot of issues is naturally going to be quite different than our own.  I doubt that very many doctors (MD) worry about being unemployed.  The ways the laws are written today, with their government supported monopoly over access to medical drugs, they don’t have to worry about not having enough patients.  Especially as they can very easily require their patients to make office visits and have lab tests almost as frequently as they want.  And the health insurance companies will support them in this as for an insurance company, the more you use your health insurance, the more the company can charge you.  And as about only 80% of your premiums are actually returned to you in the form of benefits, the other 20% the company gets to keep for itself.  For those curious, 20% is rather close to what credit card companies charge, and they all make good profits. The dentists do the same thing as medical doctors do, requiring twice yearly visits for “cleaning” and “inspection” (which often includes x-rays).  So again we have a situation where the patient is in effect the “captive” of the doctor (dentists are doctors too), much to the economic benefit of the doctor.  Again, the function of all this is economic profit.  Then we have the lawyers, who have passed thick books worth of laws to benefit their own profession.  These laws effectively require you to use a lawyer for a lot of things where a lesser trained (and less expensive) person would be perfectly satisfactory.  In effect we have created an economic class that functions much as an economic parasite upon the rest of us.  The work that they do may be beneficial much of the time, but they also create “work” for themselves through their political power that they have now gained.  In the case of the teaching profession, it appears that “right to work” laws may degrade their incomes to a certain extent, and the creation of “charter schools” also is effective in reducing the cost of education.  But the rest of the professions seem to be quite able to prevent the same thing from happening to them, even if the American people would be better off if the cost of dealing with professionals was reduced to more reasonable levels.  There is really no reason why US health care costs run 50% higher than those of any other nation on a per capita basis except for the political power of the professions to “carve out” politically powerful monopolies for their own economic benefit…  While in turn making the rest of us pay for all these wonderful “benefits”!

It becomes quite clear at this point that we do not have “representative government” on either the federal or the state level.  Nor does it seem to make much of a difference which of the two political parties are in control.  The Democratic professional is just as eager to support economic monopoly for the professional classes as is his or her Republican counterpart.  So replacing Democrats with Republicans doesn’t get us anywhere.  Both parties are so controlled by the professionals today that there is simply no easy way to free ourselves of this professional monopoly that “colors” almost anything we do in the legislative sense.  The professionals are well aware that “big government” and its power is the major reason they can earn the incomes that they do today.  If you have a “first class seat on the gravy train” (as the professions do today), you will fight tooth and nail to hold on to that “seat”.  This is also one reason why libertarians (who tend to not be members of the professions as a rule) do not usually do very well when running for office.  We are a “threat” to the “establishment”, and they are very much well aware of that exact fact!

What libertarians (and all those who would like a less costly society) have to do is to get sufficient numbers of people convinced of the advantages of “demarchy” as opposed to “democracy”.  In a demarchy representatives are selected by lottery, not by an election.  Having a lot of money won’t increase your chances of being selected in a demarchy, unlike a democracy, where the more money you have, the better your chances are.

If we don’t want the wealthy and the big corporations running our society for their own benefit (and keeping the rest of us relatively poor and powerless), then demarchy is the only answer.  It’s up to us to demand “change”.  The “powers that be” aren’t going to do it otherwise because to them, things are just “great” the exact way that they are today…



About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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