Against Fatalism

I think it’s a real mistake for writers to go soft on bad policy ideas on the grounds that we’ll “never” get rid of them. The practice of witch-burning had, in its heyday, a much longer history in western politics than the home mortgage interest tax deduction and yet over time people’s minds changed. It’s true that it’s “inevitable” that businesses will lobby for tax loopholes and deductions and “inevitable” that members of congress will give in to them. But it used to be inevitable that the king would tax the peasants and use the money to build fancy palaces. People need to become more upset, not less upset, about routinized abuse of the policy process and casual corruption on the Hill.

For example, I like to think Atrios and I will eventually prevail in our struggle for granny flats!