Sunday, January 2, 2011
Greg Mankiw's Latest Column is Mostly Nonsense
However, I want to disagree with the sentiment of his most recent column. On my reading, his advice to President Obama is basically that it will be easier to work with Republicans if the President simply becomes a Republican, by (for example) taking a more long-term view of the economy and not using government as a tool for redistribution. This is just silly. Obama was voted in on the Democratic ticket. Voters could reasonably expect him to support typical Democratic policies, such as redistribution of income. Changing course would be a disservice to the voters, who chose the President in part because of his party affiliation.
Greg - it's obvious that by becoming a Republican, or at least making policies that coincide with Republican ideals, it would be easier for the President to work with Republicans. But that's not a realistic or useful policy prescription. Stick to the last point (don't cast the Republicans as your enemy) and focus on how the two sides can find middle ground to make meaningful changes in deficit reduction, entitlement reform, and the future of our nation.
Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant. ~Fredrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty