“What’s the difference?” Dep’t

Brad DeLong has a vignette of economic policy-makinmg within the Bush Administration that’s enough to make your blood run cold.

Brad reports this as Hubbard fooling Bush and the others, which strikes me as insufficiently subtle. What’s really happening is that Bush and the others are asking to be fooled, and Hubbard is complying. That’s not less disgraceful behavior by Hubbard than Brad’s interpretation, but it’s much more disgraceful behavior by the others.

It’s wrong, or at least incomplete, to say that the Bush Administration has no respect for the truth. The Bush Administration, in reality, has no respect for the facts: for the sheer facticity of the world, its character of being stubbornly what it is even though it logically could have been otherwise.

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