Yglesias and others have highlighted a recent poll in which only 24 percent of respondents correctly identified the current 'cap & trade' proposal as having to do with the environment.
29 percent thought this phrase had to do with regulating Wall Street. I didn't dive into the poll results, but does this mean that people thought the New York Stock Exchange was going to require traders to wear hats while they worked?
This reminded me of a recent description I read of one our nation's political debates which the paper described as being marked by 'ignorance and enthusiasm.' This is no way to run a country. I've said it before (somewhere) but I will say it again: An ill-informed and uninterested electorate will always and everywhere result in bad governance.
There is something of a chicken and egg problem at work here. Is our government exceedingly complex in order to keep a majority of people ignorant and allow those in power to remain in power? Or has the complex bureaucratic apparatus sprung up to fill the void left by a disengaged and ignorant public?
Either way, the only options going forward are increased civic involvement to force a return to government by and for the people; or our continued enfeeblement at the hands of government and the inevitable enslavement that will result.