Friday, August 19, 2005

Matt Yglesias Makes My Point

He writes:
It's a distinctively liberal error to think "massive, flawlessly executed government-sponsored venture" is a real option to be put aside "don't do it" and "do it but make some mistakes." Mistakes, when made, should of course be criticized, but on side level some mistakes are inevitable. If your plan depends on the absence of errors, then you've got a bad plan.
And I wrote:
Yet ideal policies rarely, if ever, get carried out (even with Democrats in power.) This is true to a much greater degree in poor countries. Moreover, bungled policy implementation leads to increased opposition to similar, but much better policies, as in the free trade example. Perhaps we should focus more on developing policies that don't turn on a few key parameters and instead will be robust to many different political climates.

ADDENDUM: The parallel conclusion is that there is a distinctively conservative error: that markets always function perfectly. If your plan depends on the absence of market failures, then you've got a bad plan.


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