My Campaign-Season Pledge
By Arnold Kling
Readers have noticed that my tone has been relatively bitter the last several months. One possible reason is that the election campaign is heating up.
To me, political campaigns are not sacred events, to be eagerly anticipated and avidly followed. They are brutal assaults on reason. I look forward to election season about as much as a gulf coast resident looks forward to hurricane season. Meanwhile, I pledge the following:
1. That no politician will end America’s consumption of foreign oil. Ever.
2. That no politician will figure out a way to bring the bottom half of America’s children up to the level where they can benefit from a college education.
3. That no politician will figure out a way to make American health care–meaning virtually unlimited access to specialists and technology–affordable for everyone.
4. That no politician will alter the trends in technology and family structure that are driving the distribution of income and wealth.
5. That no politician will produce a sustainable fiscal outlook without trimming future Social Security and Medicare benefits. (I might have ended the previous sentence simply by putting a period after “outlook”)
6. That no politician needs to create jobs. There is always too much work to be done. The problem is never to create jobs. The problem is for individuals to adapt their abilities to ever-changing job opportunities. UPDATE: Martin Feldstein and John Taylor break this pledge. Ughh!
7. That no politician will be able to articulate an economic difference between moving labor or goods from country X to country Y and moving labor or goods from Maryland to Virginia.