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February 9, 2009

What Do You Think They Think

Quote of the Day: “The natural proclivity of democratic governments is to pursue public policies which concentrate benefits on the well-organized and well-informed, and disperse the costs on the unorganized and ill-informed.” — by Peter Boettke

Subject: What do you think the politicians think?

It’s important to keep in mind the world in which the politicians live. Who do they hear, what do they know, and, as a result, how do they think? Politicians talk . . .

* To each other
* To lobbyists
* And to “court intellectuals”

The media is much the same. They talk . . .

* To each other
* To the politicians
* And to a standard set of establishment experts.

This leads them to cover the same stories, at the same time, in the same way, like a herd moving in unison.

The politicians hear this media chatter too. It’s mostly a constant reinforcement of their beliefs.

We, in turn, must constantly remind ourselves of these realities, and take them into account. We must recognize our “leaders” live in an Echo Chamber, and devise a way to penetrate that Echo Chamber with new sounds, thoughts, and ideas.

How do the politicians hear what we think? And what do they think when they don’t hear from us? Isn’t it obvious? When they don’t hear from us they must think, “Hey, we must be doing okay. No one’s objecting.” By comparison . . .

What do they think when they DO hear from us? …when we object to what they’re doing? Probably not much when the communications are only a trickle. But what if that trickle is constant, like a drumbeat, and constantly growing, like an expanding leak in a dam?

The staff is impacted first. They answer the phones. They read and count your messages. When the objections come in constantly, and their number keeps growing, it has to make the staff a little bit nervous. At some point this nervousness bubbles up to the boss — to the Representative or the Senator.

This is where we are in our quest to penetrate the Echo Chamber. Our present task is to impart that nervousness to Congressional staffs, and from their up the chain of command to their bosses. To achieve this first step requires a constant and growing influx of communications into the Congressional Echo Chamber.

* If the politicians don’t hear from you then all they hear is the echo of their own thoughts, and they think they’re doing okay
* But if they do hear from you constantly, and in growing numbers, seeds of doubt are planted, and the Echo Chamber is pierced

Eventually, the sound of our voices must grow so loud that it drowns out the lobbyists and the court intellectuals, and imposes itself even on the Echo Chamber of the establishment media. But such an achievement will be the work of years, and the accumulation of thousands of tiny steps. But here’s the good thing . . .

Each of the steps we have to take is incredibly easy. Today, all it takes is a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks, constantly executed, and in growing numbers. It’s something we can easily do, so let’s do it. Today . . .

We need to continue to object to the stimulus-scam bill.

An optimist could look at the situation and say, “We’ve made a difference and cut $110 billion dollars by objecting.” We might even be pleased that our objections have kept a vote from occuring. But if you’re like me, you’re more likely to say, “A handful of Senate Republicans have broken ranks and cut a deal to reduce the cost of the stimulus bill by about a hundred billion dollars.”

Frankly, that’s not good enough. The bill as a whole is still a scam, destined to harm the economy rather than help it. The Republicans have the power to block this bill in the Senate. We must continue to urge them to do so. We must continue to object to the bill, and withdraw our consent.

Please send another message objecting to the stimulus bill.

Use your personal comments to say that the compromise bill doesn’t fix the problem. The problem is the bill itself. What the economy needs now is less government spending, not more.

Penetrate the Echo Chamber!

And remember, we increase our penetration power by constantly adding to our ranks. Please join other DC Downsizers and Digg this message at our blog so others will see it.

Jim Babka

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