Marriage vs. Play Station 3

Reihan Salam and I have a rather profound piece in Slate's “Dismal Science” slot arguing that a PS3 will make you happier than marriage.  Please note that all specious and sophistical reasoning is presented in the service of satire. No cogent  arguments were harmed in the writing of this article.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

6 thoughts

  1. “Is this a problem?” A really interesting question, to which I think the answer is “no”, unless you constrain “liberal accounts” strictly to “consent of the governed”, as Paul seems to suggest doing.
    If we think of the elected/appointed as a “liberal” force, then we can think of the civil service as a “conservative” force (small ‘c’ – not talking about GOP here). It’s basic tendency is to keep things running smoothly, as much like they are alreday doing as possible.
    As with so many other facets of American gov’t, redemption comes in the friction between the two. They work, not in harmony, but in discord, and maintain (we hope) legitimacy between the two.
    Not sure if that’s coherent, but lunch calls.

  2. Even if civil servants do agree to carry out explicit orders from their elected leaders, they still have vastly more influence than contemporary accounts of democratic theory assigns to them.

  3. Another systemic problem.
    Systemic failure is looking more and more likely for democracy. The only way democracy works is having solid leaders every so often who ignore the wants and whims ‘of the people’ and do what is right.
    “Oh, you want free healthcare? Well isn’t that special? I want it to rain candy too. How would you feel about being treated by a doctor whose salary was capped at 30k for the greater good? No, you wanted to be treated by someone who is paid well for their talents? Then no free healthcare, moron.”

  4. Jurgen Habermas spends a lot of time thinking about this problem in Between Facts and Norms, though I don’t know if you consider Habermas a liberal political theorist.

Comments are closed.