Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Time Horizons

The other day Greg Mankiw had that conservatives value the long-term and liberals the short spelled out explicitly, but take a look at David Brooks today:
The best way to measure government is not by volume, but by what you might call the Achievement Test. Does a given policy arouse energy, foster skills, spur social mobility and help people transform their lives?

All those things = long-term. Then he continues:
The government has erected a welfare state that, as Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard has pointed out, spends vast amounts on consumption (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, interest on the debt) and much less on investment (education, research, infrastructure), while pushing the costs on future generations.

Again, consumption = present/short-term, investment = long-term. Also, note about the costs on future generations comment.

Anyway, won't belabor the point, just explaining that the tentacles of this theory run deep.

Y'all are lucky that you get to read a genius like FLG everyday and for free. How else would you get these insights into profound political assumptions, pirates, and people who have sex with inanimate objects?

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