Monday, January 23, 2006


Lakeland Ledger political columnist Bill Rufty has a great piece worth reading today. He spoke recently with former State Representative C. Fred Jones (D - Auburndale), who was known by many as the "Dean of the House" due to his over two decade longevity in the Legislature (before term limits, of course) and knowledge of transportation and community affairs issues.

Jones is a casual student of the early 20th Century Russian Nikolai Kondratieff's "Wave Theory", which notes that economic cycles tended to run in cycles of 50-54 years. He believes that major changes are coming, and economic changes usually mean differing voter attitudes toward ethics, government finances, and elected officials:

"The real moving force in the next few years (in politics) will be the attitude change on the part of the public," Jones said. "In the 1990s it was go, go, go, gotta grow and get rich.

"All of a sudden interest rates went up. Then the social attitude toward business and the economy changed. And when that pendulum swings, everything is under review.

"Corporate leadership and politicians will be held responsible and as this philosophy begins to feed on itself, the public attitude is going to be just as aggressive in that outlook as it was on the upstroke," he said.

It could mean zero tolerance of lobbyist gifts, corporate crime or any of the other scandals that began in a time of affluence when voters and investors were a little more lax in their supervision because times were good.

Jones doesn't think the good times, at least as heady and good as they were, will last.

"We are on the down phase of an economic wave and so the attitude of the public is in change as well," he said.


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