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The old adage that democracies only last until the people figure out that they can vote themselves money from the treasury is undoubtedly true and amply illustrated by the Euro crisis as much as the American inability to manage debt and deficits. A more insidious and little discussed attribute of the democratic system is the propensity of populaces to elect politicians based on shared belief systems, producing doctrinaire instead of pragmatic leadership that always seeks to impose its value system regardless of consequences or even ability to resolve the issues faced by their polities.

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