Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I am sad now

Dear Politicians,

It has come to my attention that you are more or less incapable of doing anything in America at the moment.  Please quit mucking about and do something useful.  A couple basic guidelines:
  1. Evidence - please use it, and please present it in context.  Large numbers are scary, but large numbers when compared to other historical or projected large numbers are much less so.
  2. Consistency - I know it is bad politics to hold logically consistent beliefs, but I think that maybe if you don't someone should call you on it, and in a public easy to understand way, not in the clever but not terribly accessible way my favorite bloggers do.
Point 1 is for the pragmatists.  If you care about the impact of your legislation, and not terribly much on the abstract values behind the way it works, then you should be a slave to Evidence.  For those of you who are primarily interested in a legislative enactment of some value-system, you should be checking to make sure your enactment doesn't undermine your values by its effects.

Point 2 is for values-politicians.  If you're holding a core set of beliefs and want to enshrine them in law, then you should at the very least make sure that they don't contradict each other.  For pragmatists, this might not matter as much in your implementation, but you should be watching the aggregate effects to make sure they still do what you hope they will.

I know this is a hopeless and empty plea, but I'm burnt out on real world politics and needed to get that off my chest.  Expect more bounds on taxation and other abstract policy discussions in the near future.


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