About This Blog

Brazen Wonk is a political blog seeking to be a voice for the Radical Moderates.

Radical Moderates believe:

  • That the best source of policy is the center.
  • That consensus and compromise drive good outcomes rather than impede them.
  • That democracy needs the driving stimulus of capitalism every bit as much as capitalism needs the restraining force of democracy.
    • That no one imposes regulations without a reason. For every stupid rule there is a story about why we needed to impose that rule. We need to understand that story before we change the rule.
  • That the central function of government is damage control.
    • There really is no adequate substitute for government in this area.
    • The farther you remove yourself from essential damage control, the less effective your government program is likely to be.
    • In a democracy, education is damage control.
    • In a capitalist system, poverty relief is damage control.
  • That good science is a real and useful tool when formulating policy.
    • So is good accounting.
  • That we can be a global superpower, or we can have limited government with low, low taxes, but we can’t do both.
    • And that is is really frustrating that no one seem to be framing the debate this way.
  • That prejudice is in any direction is a recipe for poor policy.
  • That good government is good politics.
    • And that it is the responsibility of the voters to make sure this happens.

The above maxims might give the impression that we are somewhat left of center, and that requires some context.  In the short term, both the US government and the state of Arizona (where this blog is written) are firmly in the hands of conservatives. If our mission is to drag the debate back to the center, then an immediate priority would be counter-weighting the more outlying viewpoints of what we have to term modern conservatives.

In the longer term, conservatives are, by their nature, better organized than their liberal equivalents, and thereby tend to have a disproportionate voice in policy. The far left can also have brazenly intolerant positions that fly in the face of known facts, but these often stop at the annoying meme phase. Liberals can be relied upon to protest. Conservatives can be relied upon to vote. Hence, we are more concerned with conservatives.

All governments of any size are essentially oligarchies. You can rage uselessly against this, or you can strive to improve the quality and outcomes of the oligarchy. In the United States, the oligarchy was set up deliberately to favor land-owners, as it was supposed that this class would have the greatest inherent interest in good governance. As the economy matured, the land-owners have been replaced by investors. You can find plenty of ground to debate the social justice of this system, but the USA, particularly in the last hundred years or so, has become the richest, most powerful nation on Earth. What we do works.

That said, we have never been happy with our own success, and that attitude is largely behind our success. In the United States, being the best in the world isn’t good enough.

We want to be the best that is possible.

This bog aspires to become a small contribution to that process.

Updates Sunday – so you have something to do besides watch the useless talk shows.