American Politics in the Age of Ignoranc e looks at ten policy myths and bad ideas that governments and public officials - most often conservatives - consistently repeat and re-enact. Acting on these myths, the policies inevitably fail and thereby reinforce preconceived beliefs that government is ineffective at solving problems.
Brand: Palgrave Pivot
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On page 1, the author notes his basic thesis: ". . .often times many policies and ideas get enacted either when there is little evidence supporting their likelihood of success, or worse, when social science research indicates probable failure." In short, we rely on myths and common sense to make key policy decisions--when evidence suggests that the myths and common sense will not work.
What are some examples? Chapter 1 looks at the states as laboratories of innovation. The author argues that much innovation is one state adopting the failed policy of another state. Taxes? Are higher taxes killers of economic growth and lower taxes engines of growth? Schultz contends that taxes are often not as important as other factors in the decision by a company to invest in a particular venue. What about "sportsfare," where communities invest public funds in sports stadia and the like? Schultz argues that this is a poor use of public funds, in that the economic benefits do not justify...
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