People don’t want freedom. They want to be led …

To pursue political power is to realize that people don’t want freedom.  They want to be led.  To be successful at obtaining and wielding political power in a consumerist society operating in and governed by corporate-capitalist republic, a politician’s approach is to create a narrative that is bought into by the electorate in exchange for votes or policy approval.

Just like I am not allowed to go behind the front counter of my favorite Chinese food restaurant and tell the cooks how to make the egg rolls, the electorate should not be allowed to participate in how policy is made.  Contrary to popular belief and false narratives, republics are not about the participation of the populace in the practice of governance.

Rather, the people’s role is limited to the qualified selection of representatives to its government and the constitutional officers responsible for its day-to-day operations.  Too many cooks in the kitchen, the old adage goes, creates a mess.  Inefficiencies in governance occur when there is little check on the number of stakeholders identified or created.  Nothing will get done.

Take the men and women running for the Democratic Party nomination for president.  Most of their campaign speeches are littered with phrases implying that they are going to “fight for you.”  Never mind that the individuals, government institutions, or corporations that they are fighting against are American.  They never assert that they, the elected official, will show you how best to defend yourself against these enemies.

Telling the electorate that you are fighting for them taps into the fear necessary for getting the electorate in line with a candidate’s leadership.  The empowered are not going to follow fear mongers.  The empowered are going to ask how candidates got in such a position of influence that they believe they can deliver promises of affordable health care, free college education, and monthly universal basic income checks.

The vast majority of the electorate, fortunately, do not have the energy, time, or critical thinking skills to ask these questions that amount to the balance of power between the leader and the led.  An “honest” politician does not want the electorate to be that insightful.  Such queries mount a clear and present danger to a politician’s power.

Instead, the “honest” politician should keep the channel to her message wide open by posting a fear-filled narrative during every opportunity that presents itself.  Issues must be painted as complex and that only the politician’s guidance and expertise need be relied on.  She should continually remind her constituents that they cannot lead themselves.

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Quality information: How the political prediction markets serve the political markets

Corporate investors and the political markets …

A corporate investor in the political markets goes long because, unlike a trader who is more short term minded and willing to get out of a contract before an event in the political markets occurs, the corporate investor has “skin in the game” by way of future profits and losses.

In the political markets, where an office seeker sells a narrative to the electorate in exchange for a vote, a corporation is concerned that the office seeker with a message or policy that puts the corporation at a disadvantage may win an election.  Therefore, the corporation will invest in the office seeker, whose policy proposals provide the corporation with a benefit, by financing the most effective ways for promoting the favored office seeker’s messaging.

The corporation’s uncertainty as to which office seeker to back and how well that office seeker will perform in the political markets hinges on the quality of information the corporation receives from the political markets.  The information from the political markets will be skewed, tainted, biased.  The office seeker may relay to the corporation that things are going well on the campaign trail; that town halls are packed; that the electorate is buying the message.  In reality, the office seeker may not have enough volunteer staff in key voting communities; town halls have been cancelled or poorly attended; and the office seeker’s message may not be resonating with voters.  For these reasons, a corporation may rely on the political prediction markets to close the information gap.

The accuracy of information is enhanced in the political prediction markets because the parties trading in these markets have “skin in the game” by purchasing one of two sides of an event contact, i.e. will office seeker A win or will she lose.  Traders are putting their money where their mouths are and to ensure maximum returns on their trade, traders seek out and incorporate the best information they can find regarding potential outcomes.

This information in general is about how an office seeker is increasing her value in the political markets.  For example, what are the messages being pushed by the office seeker? How relevant are these messages? How is the office seeker expending resources? Does the office seeker have an abundance of resources?  Where the answers are positive as to value of the messaging, then the possibility of a favorable event as determined in the prediction markets is also positive.

Conclusion: Both markets compliment each other …

Information is the currency that ties the political markets and the political prediction markets together.  Political prediction markets provide the means for cutting through the noise in two ways.  First, the corporate investor uses information from the political prediction markets to filter out less accurate information.  Second, actual traders in the political prediction markets are seeking out the best information possible and this higher quality information is observed by the corporate investor in the form of prices for each trade in the prediction markets.

It is all about the information…..

Blacks need a new political law game

The political battle between the Executive and the Congress has been intense to say the least over the last twenty-seven months since Donald Trump took office.  With post-Mueller report hearings ramping up next week, the saga only promises to continue way into campaign season.

My friends and family have expressed varying degrees of interest, with a significant number of opinions fueled more by emotion and less by critical thinking.  For example, the constant reference to “collusion”, a term that has no legal meaning, is disconcerting because it provides an example of how people are ignoring the particulars (even when readily available for examination) and rolling with the globs of misinformation thrown onto the plate most times by the mainstream media.

Black congressional leadership wasting political power …

What should also be disturbing is how two of the highest ranking blacks in the Congress, Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings, are spearheading the charge in the impeachment debate.  Their distaste for the sitting president is evident, but what is less evident is how the use of a potent political law instrument as impeachment is supposed to translate into any increase in political power, wealth, or capital for black people.

If anything, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has expressed caution about pursuing impeachment, appreciating the argument from some inside her party that pursuing impeachment could have a negative impact on the Democrats’ ability to oust Donald Trump from the Oval Office in November 2020.  Mrs. Pelosi’s hesitancy on impeachment should have provided Ms. Waters and Mr. Cummings an opening to show leadership and go against the impeachment grain, not because it would be in line with Speaker Pelosi’s sentiment, but as a signal that the energy expenditure behind impeachment does nothing for their prime constituency: black people.

When you are marginalized, you agitate …

With at least 51 voting members in the U.S. House, blacks in the Congress are in a position to be the pivotal swing vote on a number of issues including impeachment. Numerically, black members of the House, where articles of impeachment would originate, could clog the wheel by holding back approximately 20% of the Democratic vote.  With this leverage, black congressmen could attempt concessions from either the House leadership or from President Trump, though it is less likely that the black caucus would try to negotiate with the President for fear of becoming a pariah in the Democratic Party.

Therein lies a telling dilemma. If the premier block of black congressmen cannot leverage numerical strength without fear of reprisal, what good is their strength?  Another irony is that for a group of congressman that represent a marginalized group, their fear of marginalization within Congress does not put them in a position to do more for their black constituents.

Maybe the answer is to stay outside the box …

On the other hand, maybe blacks, particularly those who embrace their status as marginalized, need an approach to political law that allows them to carve out their own independent niche; one that unapologetically finds the seams or openings in the political economy in order to access capital or create substantive platforms for constructing true communities. Current black leadership is too afraid to do that.