The revenge of the facts

One problem with the belief that facts ought to be adjusted to fit policies, rather than vice versa, is that the facts remain stubborn, no matter what is said about them. If those who insist on reporting inconvenient facts are punished and their warnings ignored, disaster results. The Los Angeles Times illustrates this general principle with a history of the planning, or rather the failure to plan, behind the botched occupation of Iraq. Thanks to Phil Carter at Intel Dump for the pointer.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com