Tuesday, October 25, 2016

They'll take romance

It may be time to give up on hopes for a Kotlikoff-Leamer or a Johnson-Weld victory -- or even a non-majority in the Electoral College. All of these scenarios presumed that Trump and Clinton would self-destruct at about an even pace. But it's very hard to keep up with Trump in that department.

What is next best?  I saw a post (somewhere) where someone asked what they would miss most about Obama. The answer in this conversation was "Congressional gridlock". My next best hope is divided government.

That is not the view of Alan Blinder, writing in today's WSJ.  He sees Congressional gridlock as the problem.

OK for him if he dreams of a Clinton win and a sympathetic left-leaning Congress. But what would they do? Is a further drift to statism beneficial? Would a further left EPA be helpful? Would a more complicated tax code be useful? Would more Dodd-Frank and more politicized health care do any good? Would more power to the education establishment help anything but strengthen that group?  Would more tightly regulated land use do anything for housing affordability or labor mobility? I could go on.

"Politics without romance" never caught on with most people or with most economists. Blinder and others stick with romance? Do romantic notions have a place in serious discourse?


Don Boudreaux notes the "nirvana fallacy."