mercoledì 17 settembre 2008

Political Masochism

Often I have stated that the market requires tools and mechanisms capable to drive it within its limits. It is surely necessary to acknowledge certain merits to the market but it is necessary to be aware of its incapability to equally guide a society as well, as the recent international financial catastrophes clearly evidence. Economy is not and will never be a form of government. Economic development must be oriented by politics as expression of communities belonging to a society as a whole. Development has to be based more on effectiveness than efficiency. The market doesn’t produce democracy, doesn’t encourage democracy and doesn’t make it work. The market tends to calculate only private costs and to consider only economically valuable goods/services, but it cannot take into account public costs and social externalities such as environmental pollution or unemployment. Technology itself cannot drive economic development. Politics have the task to find and implement remedies to the unavoidable markets’ distortions through the predominance of public goods and avoiding private interests’ mediations. This said, if politics have to adjust economic development according to social and environmental needs, political selection (at local and national level) thus represents a critical step. What is currently happening in Alitalia clearly shows the destructive effects of this adverse political selection which affects our society and the consequent incapability of Italian politicians and administrators who for decades have preferred private interests, bribes and corruption to a correct firm management within a general interest. As usual, the problem derives by the fact that we choose these politicians. We are still paying the consequences of a terrible and masochistic political myopia. We still prefer politicians who are evidently unable to manage public goods in the hope that they however will satisfy our personal interests without considering that the latter are the effect of the former. The lesson to learn from the Alitalia affaire is that even obtaining some benefits in the short run from the “economy of favours” with these politicians, in the long run all of us will pay the final bill. If someone ten years ago had forecasted firings in Alitalia, he surely would have been considered a visionary fool because a job in Alitalia was considered a cast-iron job. Considering that these individuals tend to impose sacrifices for all without renouncing to privileges for them and for their friends, it is necessary to think abut the fact that nobody of us powerless people (for example working in the railways or post services, public schools and education system, etc.) will be safe when the next bill will have to be paid…

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