Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Self-serve politics

I make a lot of snap political judgments the same way investment bankers make stock picks.

The Andersen Principle: If a proposed political action -- rent control, offshore drilling -- has an obvious, powerful rationale, then it's a bad, overvalued idea and not worth investing in. If, on the other hand, a policy is complicated and hard to explain the benefits of -- cap-and-trade, the EITC -- it's undervalued and you should give it the benefit of the doubt.

First Corollary to the Andersen Principle (Also known as the Greater Wonk Theory): Policies that are hard to explain are also easy, once enacted, for highly motivated rich people to fuck with.

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