Went over like a lead balloon

The post about ethanol being made mostly from pork was supposed to be a joke, but one part-owner of an ethanol plant wrote in quite seriously to protest that no animals were hurt in ethanol production. Several others, with less material interest in the question, emailed to say that they thought I was factually wrong.

Yes indeed, ethanol is made from corn, not from pigs.

But the ethanol industry, hopelessly uneconomic and environtmentally detrimental, has no raison d’etre except as a means of funelling taxpayer dollars into the pockets of farmers and processors. It is sustained politically by the belief of people in Iowa and elsewhere in the cornbelt that it produces jobs in their states.

That is the classic definition of “pork-barrel politics,” or “pork” for short. And in my book it’s not kosher.

Well, what are you snickering at? I suppose you never told a joke that fell completely flat?

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