Some say House of Cards presents a cynical picture of politics, but Prof. Steve Horwitz suggests the political picture in Netflix’s original series may be more realistic than we might hope. The show follows Frank Underwood’s quest for ultimate power, and the highly anticipated second season was released Feb. 14. What, if anything can we learn from House of Cards? Prof. Horwitz finds three lessons: 1. As a general principle, we should be very skeptical of politicians; 2. House of Cards shows the constant backroom trading of favors among politicians, their staffers, special interests, and the occasional member of the public; and 3. Politics attracts those who are especially skilled at public relations, favor trading, and power plays, not necessarily those who best serve the public interest. What can we do to protect our country and change government so it better serves the public interest? Prof. Horwitz argues that we need to change incentives and prevent politicians from making backroom deals and trading favors. A limited government is necessary to prevent the self-interest of politicians from leading to disastrous results for the American people. How realistic do you think the political portrait in House of Cards is? What, if anything, do you think should be done to change the political system in the United States today?