When the bush is left untended, it grows wild and tangled. Some plants consume all the resources, leaving others to wither. Eventually, that kindling catches fire, resulting in the whole bush getting burned to the ground. After the morass is cleared away, new growth starts to appear, restarting the cycle.
So it is in politics. We've seen the system grow wild, leaving key demographic groups without access to the resources they need to sustain themselves - it's the big trees that are stealing all the sunlight. Now, the kindling has caught fire with an angry vision of austerity. There are places on the cusp of burning.
There's another way, though - we can plant the seeds of positive growth, manage the bush and keep it from growing beyond the means of the land to sustain it.
Some folk recoil at the notion of "social engineering," as though unmanaged systems left to their own devices don't inequitably favour the most aggressive - which rarely includes those who mistrust social systems the most. They fear paternalistic politicians attempting to treat the populace like sheep and lead them where they will, yet don't fear the hawks or marketers that do the same thing, just more subtly.
The best leaders aren't shepherds so much as they're gardeners, finding the right balance between plant, stone and structure. Gardeners nurture growth and seek balance. So too should government.