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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Why Does the Post Think Politicians Are Philosophers?

Why Does the Post Think Politicians Are Philosophers?

Thursday, 03 March 2011 06:04
The Post referred to disputes among policymakers on how best to structure regulation of the financial sector told readers that:

"there are also deep philosophical and political differences as to what the government should do to prevent future crises."

The people who are making the decisions about regulating the financial sector are politicians. They get and keep their jobs by appealing to powerful interest groups who can finance election campaigns. Few, if any, of these people are known for their contributions to political philosophy. There is no obvious reason to believe that philosophy is a major factor in determining their approach to this issue and the Post certainly does not give us one.

Comments (4)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, March 03, 2011 6:18
This is big existentionalist lie. Any journalist knows that John Locke was the father of deep liberal philosophy who separated the mind from the self with a blank slate so Adam Smith could proceed to fill in the blanks with epistemological rationlism. Read Journalism 101.
written by kharris, March 03, 2011 8:25
Well, you know they aren't going to say "deep dogmatic and political differences", but they don't want to leave out any reference to shibboleths, so they substitute "philosophical" for "dogmatic". It is a substitution that politicians also practice, which makes it nicer for everybody.
written by Jeff Z, March 03, 2011 10:39
For politicians to have philosophical differences, they would have to read and study political philosophy, rather than just respond to polls, news stories, and piles of cash.

They don't (can't) read the bills they vote on, so what should we expect? Even our news outlets can't or won't point this out, as they themselves are a source of lobbying and piles of cash.
politicians are expert vote getters
written by Floccina, March 03, 2011 2:42
Much to the consternation of both liberals and conservatives politicians are not philosophers but expert vote getters.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.