Arnold Kling  

Cowen's Law

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My latest TCS essay is built around one of my favorite Tyler quotes. I write,


There are passionate Republicans and passionate Democrats. But I agree with Tyler Cowen that neither party is likely to seem attractive. I can give a number of examples that for me illustrate Tyler Cowen's law. These are policies that neither party is likely to endorse, even though to me they make sense.

* a trade policy of unilateral disarmament
* surrender in the drug war
* separation of family and state
* creating an agency to audit the Department of Homeland Security


I conclude with an argument for tossing out incumbents, and polls show that I am not alone.


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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Yeganeh writes:

Hi,

I am a MSc student in Economics ... I have 4 exams in next month...I am so worry about my exams..can I ask you questions in future that I may face with?

Regards,

Yeganeh

[Hi, Yeganeh.

You are welcome to ask questions on EconLog! Student questions are always welcome. However, you will not usually get answers unless you ask the questions in an appropriate discussion thread. If you ask a question about the production frontier in a discussion of politics, everyone will ignore you.

You can find active discussion topics on the EconLog Main and Archives pages.

If you have a question to ask that doesn't seem to fit in with any active discussion from the last few weeks, try posting it here.

Best regards,
Lauren Landsburg
Editor]

Roger M writes:

Remember when you toss out all incumbents, you leave the new guys at the mercy of experienced lobbyists. That's the problem with term limits, too. Also, if you have new guys in office each term, the bureaucrats in government agencies will run crazy and have little oversight. It takes years for a congressman to learn the ropes and become effective. Besides, I'm sure you have found a friend in the Libertarian party, so support them, even though they lose most elections.

It sounds to me as if you're just frustrated with the democratic process of having to convince others of the truths of your pet projects.

scottynx writes:

Arnold Kling writes:

"* a trade policy of unilateral disarmament"

In the short term that would be great. But then how could we convince other countries to lower thier trade barriers as well? The carrot of lowering out trade barriers in return would be gone. This carrot is greatly needed. Appealing to logic just won't cut it. This is the same problem Britain encountered in the late 19th century.

GeoffreyB writes:

"* a trade policy of unilateral disarmament"

"In the short term that would be great. But then how could we convince other countries to lower thier trade barriers as well?"

We can only convince other countries by example..
I am guessing it has to work better than the alternative (retalitory trade barriers)

The important point is that we are better off even if other countries keep their trade barriers in place.

I don't see why we have to contiue to "shoot ourselves in the foot" in the hope that France will stop shooting thiers...

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