12 March 2011

Two points from Ezra Klein

Common Mistakes Made By Economists

1. Political power matters. There are many outcomes that are economically efficient in the short term but lead to a dangerous imbalance of political power in the long term

I wouldn't use the word "imbalance" - balances can be dangerous too, but otherwise the most overwhelmingly important point in politics.

8. Policy arguments are often conscripted for political purposes...

This is a great sighting near the surface of something so deeply assumed that the assumption is normally invisible: policy is the opposite of politics.

Klein's strapline is "Economic and Domestic Policy, and Lots of it". But politics is only allowed in when it forces itself, by point 1.

I have only seen the view of politics being opposite to policy stated so clearly by critics, such as in Mencius Moldbug's Explanation of democratic centrism

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