In Praise of Divided Government

I must say that I am not much of a fan of trying to find spurious relationships between long-term economic trends and the political parties who hold office at various times.  But I must say I kind of liked this one from Mark Perry:

PS-  I was around a dinner table this weekend with a group of Republicans, including some activists.  I asked them what exactly they thought Republicans would do next term if they won real gains in Congress.  None of them, many hard-core activists, could name anything except divide government and slow the pace of growth.  Which I suppose is better than we have now.


  1. Evil Red Scandi:

    Hopefully I'm not the only person who read the discussion beneath that post and was thinking "Wow, a thousand years from now somebody will come across this and their reaction will be the same as what those of us today have when we read about sages from generations ago arguing over exactly which sets of entrails to use to divine the future."

  2. me:

    It's a sad state of affairs when the best you can say about your chosen mode of governance is that it's less harmful when it gets in its own way.

    I have no hope for the next republican administration, given how badly the last one misbehaved where government spending was concerned.

  3. Doug:

    When I hear these stupid politicians say that the best form of government is democracy (which is laughable at best), I think "far better than that is "gridlocked democracy." We're in the rut we're in today because of the idiotic notion that "doing somethin' is better than doing nothin'." The "somethin'" always turns out to be the wrong thing to do, and establishes huge bureaucracies that do nothing but grow at a pace that makes any self-respecting cancer cell envious.

  4. Huskercr:

    I have always considered a divided government to be the best (as in least harmful), but unfortunately the follies of this administartion and Congress leave us in dire need of action by the next Congress rather than the inaction which gridlock produces. In particular I am thinking of the need to repeal or at least "reform" Obamacare as well as to repeal or "reform" the Dodd Frank law on financial services reform. Both of these laws will prove exceedingly harmful to the nation in the years ahead as they drastically increase government control over the eonomy, coddle special interest groups, expand crony capitalism and add a layer of costs and bureaucracy that the nation will suffer under.

    Yes, I realize that the odds of the next Congress taking action to repeal these new monstrosities is slim to nil, and that if they did a veto surely looms. If they had the votes to override the veto then they would have the votes to do more harm themselves ...

  5. Mesa Econoguy:

    Much better, but the question is, have irreversible wheels been set in motion for permanent decline? Beyond those already present?

    If divided, there's unlikelihood of repealing catastrophes like Obamacare, and virtually no hope of addressing Socialist Security, and entitlements.

  6. IgotBupkis:


    The first comment to that, by PeakTrader, about investing only when Congress is out of session, is also worth reading.

    It's twue, it's twue!!

    "Congress" truly IS the opposite of "Progress".