JD growth v pop growthI just had a major revelation. Now, this revelation came to me right on the heels of a pretty intense workout, when I was swaying on my feet, so please take it with a grain of salt. Chances are I won't even remember writing it later. But...

(I'm making all of this up.)

The problem with politics in the US is efficiency. As US manufacturing jobs became more and more efficient, the volume of jobs decreased, pushing the sons and daughters of the lower-middle class to service industry jobs. Insurance, healthcare, and law boomed. Here's the thing with lawyers--they don't have the luxury of being wrong. Even if they're on the wrong side of an argument (especially if they are), they will twist and dodge and try to find another loophole to squirm through.

It has to be impossible to come through the door, hang up your coat, and leave that all behind.

"Did you remember to pick up eggs?" the spouse might ask.

"How could I? It's ninety degrees out," the lawyer replies.

"But I don't see what that has to do with..."

"I would have to shut the engine off when I went into the store, wouldn't I? Would a reasonable person expect the car to start again in this heat? Where would I be then, with eggs in my hand an no way home?"

"But didn't it start when you left the office?"

"Or would I leave the car running and have some hoodlum abscond with my vehicle? Again, I would have no way home?"

"But you always had a way..."

"And might a reasonable person conclude that said eggs might boil in the shell in this heat? You instructed me to purchase fresh eggs. Am I to assume that hardboiled would substitute just as well?"

The arugment from that simple question might take the rest of the evening to play out, assuming a reasonable number of rebuttal witnesses were called. The spouse might eventually take one of three approaches to coping with a lawyer in the house-- 1) abstain from argument, 2) try to engage in the sport of argument, or 3) go "full crazy." (By the way, my mother often chose the "full crazy" route, just screaming, "Well, goddammit, fine." and making meatloaf for Thanksgiving)

The children of a lawyer don't have much of a choice. They learn the techiques of dodge, twist, avoid, and deflect before they're even in high school. None of the skills imparted include reflecting or reconsidering. This is the same way a lion teaches their offspring to hunt. They teach them through play. Go ahead, ask my father where he keeps his scissors. I'll wait. 

He didn't give you a straight answer, did he? You see, a straight answer is a verifiable fact, and those are the enemies of practicing law. 

Forty-one percent of the 113th Congress were lawyers. Nearly half of our political process are people who don't have the ability to evaluate a set of facts and come up with a considered conclusion. They know their position going in. And that's what's wrong with politics. 

Oh, and lobbyists. Them too.


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