Thursday, October 20, 2016

They don't care about you

The politics of climate change and coastal loss is never about pulling together to solve a common problem. It is about every faction fighting to be the one that absorbs the least of the cost.  In South Louisiana this means a political class owned by oil companies looks to protect those oil companies at the expense of everyone else they ostensibly represent.
A paradox hung over Wednesday’s legislative hearing. The parishes most at risk of slowly disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico – particularly Lafourche and Terrebonne – are the most vociferous opponents of suing the oil and gas companies, because their local economies depend on the industry.
Politics is not about magically divining a perfect consensus that benefits everyone. Politics is abiut conflict. The winners impose their version of "consensus" on the lossrs. And most of the time the surest way to be a winner is to start with money.

In New Orleans, for example,  there's no such thing as a "reasonable compromise" on the short term rental question. There is only a well financed faction of landlords trying to impose its version of consensus on the rest of us.  Our mayor and Council members will pretend they're there to facilitate reasonable compromise but that is not actually their function. Politicians are not leaders or founts of venerable wisdom.  They are tools by which political factions attack one another. Sometimes... on very rare occasions.... the tools can be manipulated by direct democracy but that takes time, energy, and organization.  Most of the time difference they just respond to money.

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