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Friday, February 3, 2017

Can an Electorate Hold Its Political Elite Accountable: The Case of François Fillon

Can a political elite hold itself accountable? Left to its own devices, absent a virtuous citizenry, a political elite is able to exploit a conflict of interest in both wielding the authority of government and using that power even to constrain the elite itself. Unfortunately, even where an electorate is virtuous, the dispersed condition of the popular sovereign is an impediment to galvanizing enough popular will to act as a counter-power to that of a political elite, which is relatively concentrated and well-informed. In early 2017, the problem was on full display in the E.U. state of France, with little the federal government could do given the amount of governmental sovereignty still residing at the state level. So the question is whether an electorate can galvanize enough power to counter that of a political elite.

François Fillon in trouble for corruption amid an ensconced political elite. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters)

The full essay is at "François Fillon."

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Is Democracy Inimical to Prudent Government Budgeting: The U.S. and India Contrasted

At a time when the U.S. Government sported an accumulated debt of roughly $20 trillion, with continued deficits expected to add about $10 trillion more over the next ten years, the most populous democracy in the world, India, laid out a prudent budget proposal—one that had been “extremely well thought-out,” according to Deepak Parekh of the Housing Development Finance Corporation in India.[1]

The full essay is at "Prudent Government Budgeting."



1. Getta Anand, “Arun Jaitley, India’s Finance Chief, Aims to Spur Economy Hit by Cash Shortage,” The New York Times, February 1, 2017.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The French Socialist Party’s Proposal of a Universal Income Amended: An Economic Floor Providing Economic Security to the Poor

Benoit Hamon, “riding to victory” from political obscurity on a proposal to “pay all adults a monthly basic income,” defeated the recent Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, in a presidential primary runoff election of the Socialist Party in the E.U. state of France.[1] Although “Hamon wasn’t as tainted as Valls by Hollande’s unpopularity” because Hamon had “rebelled and quit the government in 2014,” whereas Valls served more than two years as Hollande’s prime minister in the state legislature, Hamon’s “proposal for a 750 euros ($800) ‘universal income’ that would be gradually granted to all adults also proved a campaign masterstroke. It grabbed headlines and underpinned his surprise success in the primary’s two rounds of voting.”[2] I submit that the proposal, although flawed from the standpoint of economic security, fits well with the industrial world of global capitalism.




1. Associated Press, “Hard-left Candidate wins French Socialists’ Presidential primary,” Foxnews.com. January 29, 2017.
2. Ibid.

A Federal Court Stays President Trump’s Muslim-Ban: Flawed Reportage?

Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York, issued a nationwide injunction on January 28, 2017 concerning President Donald Trump’s executive order barring people from seven countries from entering the United States. On the same day, BBC (America) radio reported that Trump had been stopped in his tracks. I submit that this instance points to the importance of investigative journalism prior to reporting. Alternatively, the case may illustrate a partisan or otherwise ideological penchant among journalists officially tasked with investigating and reporting rather than interpreting the news. 

The full essay is at "President Trump's Muslim Ban."