Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another in the What the Tea Party Movement is About Series

This from that Thomas Sowell book I keep blathering about.
Much of the political rhetoric is concerned with presenting issues as isolated problems to be solved -- not as trade-offs within an overall system constrained by inherent limitations of resources, knowledge, etc. The issue is posed as one of providing "affordable housing", "decent jobs", "adequate health care" and the like. The cost problem is often waved aside by some such general statement as, "Surely a country that can put a man on the moon ..." or fight a war in the Persian Gulf, or build a nationwide highway system, etc., can afford to do whatever is proposed. From a trade-off perspective, however, all these expensive activities of the past are reasons why we have less to spend on other things, not reasons why we can spend more.

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