With the election behind us and the fiscal cliff looming, I’m reminded of the famous quote of Scots historian Alexander Tyler, who over 200 years ago while lecturing about the fall of the Athenian Republic, said: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.”
Hopefully, our elected officials are smarter than the Athenians’. Unfortunately, our voters are not.
Jonathan L. Braden