THE BLOG

Shift Happens...Often

11/03/2010 11:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Shift happens...and it happens often. Yesterday's election results produced the large swing in Congress that pollsters predicted but we need to remember that major shifts in the House have occurred at least 6 times in the last 40 years. Sometime in the near future there will be another shift back to the Democrats.

Having the President and the majority in the House and Senate all belonging to the same party is rare. Whatever is accomplished during these periods of alignment is either too little, too much, too ambitious, not ambitious enough, too accommodating or not accommodating enough depending on whom you ask.

With all this change in the composition of the Congress, what is consistent over time? Increased polarization and short-term selfish bickering on both sides of the aisle.

We will argue about tax rates for those making over $250,000, as if either side has any real science behind the arguments for the incentives/disincentives of 33%, 35%, 39% or any other tax rate. We'll wring our hands over how much oversight should there be for a financial system that nearly destroyed the US economy as though we are debating the best way to return a loaded gun that we just confiscated from a 5-year old. We'll argue about whether everyone has a right to basic healthcare or if this entitlement will simply encourage some people to become lazier, fatter and even more wasteful of our resources.

While all this internal chatter occurs, other countries will invest in their educational systems, their infrastructure, their industries and their environment while devising plans for a great future.

Shift happens in American politics and will happen again soon, but, if the low-value bickering continues, America will be slicing up an ever-shrinking pie.