The Problem of Policymaker Ignorance

– July 14, 2022

“Policymakers are forever in search of causal knowledge and powers – to both know enough and be capable of bringing about specific states of social affairs – that no mortal can possess.” ~ Scott Scheall


How Much Can We Trust Supposed Earmark Reforms?

– April 7, 2022

“Every time Americans are assured they will be ‘insured’ against earmark abuses, it is made to sound like real reform. But that insurance is far more image than substance. Perhaps that is why for some K Street lobbyists, ‘It means joy, rapture, hallelujah.’” ~ Gary M. Galles


Do Voters Make Poor Choices?

– March 31, 2022

“The choices individuals make do not affect election outcomes. They make the choices that make them feel the best—and its difficult to say that by doing that, they are making bad choices.” ~ Randall G. Holcombe


Why President Biden’s Climate Goals Are Fictional

– March 23, 2022

“President Biden’s climate goals have something in common with many science fiction movies. The future that seems so far away is in reality too temporally close to make the story plausible.” ~ James E. Hanley


Questioning Policy Miracles

– March 21, 2022

“Proponents may be so committed to their policy conclusions (typically because they advance their own self-interest) that they go to great lengths to avoid careful thinking about the supposed miracles their arguments need.” ~ Gary M. Galles


The Democracy Illusion

– February 20, 2022

“America is already far beyond what can be justified as advancing our mutual well-being. And our government seems determined to double down on how far it oversteps, a strategy which necessarily shrinks liberty, and the benefits only liberty can provide.” ~ Gary M. Galles


Gut and Amend Goes to Washington

– February 11, 2022

“This is the opposite of what would define ‘public servants’ in any other role than in a farce. It seems like the Democratic leadership at both levels has given up on even pretending otherwise.” ~ Gary M. Galles


Filibuster Chatter Speaks to Problems With Policy, Not Institutions

– January 28, 2022

“The answer to a stalled agenda isn’t tearing up the rule book and drawing a new one that suits you better. The answer is better policy. It’s not easy, but that’s the job Biden set out to do.” ~ Dan K. Eberhart


Political Preferences and Public Policy

– January 24, 2022

“Citizens and voters have less influence over public policy than a romantic notion of democracy would suggest. The political elite tells voters what to think, and they fall in line behind their leaders.” ~ Randall G. Holcombe


Institutions, Incentives, and the Impending Death of the Senate Filibuster

– January 14, 2022

“If the old rules failed to function as intended, there would be more justification for junking the filibuster altogether. That would be a sad day for the republic, but at least we would have tried to save it.” ~ James E. Hanley


Resolving to Reduce Policy Failures

– January 9, 2022

“Each of these issues–underselling self-government while overselling the state, lax language, numbers you can’t count on, combined with erroneous logic–put public policy on a path toward failure.” ~ Gary M. Galles


A Path Forward in Policing in 2022

– January 6, 2022

“May 2022 be the year we finally lean into law enforcement as a collaborative and complex undertaking that requires an investment in meaningful engagement.” ~ Rev. Markel Hutchins