Bryan Caplan  

If That Was Their Answer, What Was the Question?

Democratic Candidates on the P... The Bayes Who Wasn't There...

When Democratic candidates were asked, "What would you do to reduce gas prices?," their answers made very little sense. Which brings me to a Jeopardy-inspired puzzle: If those were their answers, what question were they really answering? To what policy question would an appropriate answer be: "Impose a carbon tax, cut subsidies, strengthen fuel efficiency standards, support alternative fuels, and launch a price-gouging investigation"?

My charitable submission: "What would be an optimal energy policy?"

My uncharitable submission: "What would you do to get revenge on oil companies - to make those bastards pay for what they've done to us?"

Take your pick!

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COMMENTS (2 to date)
dWj writes:

I happened to be thinking about your previous post in the shower today, and thinking I might give a response along the lines of imposing a tax on car companies or oil companies, but with the expectation that, if pressed on it later by someone who was economically literate, I might have to admit that it wasn't actually an answer to the question.

Answering questions can put you in a situation in which you might say something that, with more than sixty seconds' thought, you would rather not. Responding to questions with a statement about your policy position on related subjects is much safer -- you've probably rehearsed that.

8 writes:

What's your strategy for inflicting maximum pain on the American consumer while achieving maximum political and moral victory?

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