Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blue Fairy economics

Let's face it: People are fundamentally irrational. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Oversimplifying the complex, finding levity in gravity, and clinging to a belief in Pinocchio's Blue Fairy, can be helpful in keeping one's sanity. Still, there is a price to pay for our quick willingness to untether ourselves from cold reality. For example, Mitt Romney has actually gotten some traction with his I-know-how-the-economy-works-therefore-I-can-cure-what-ails-us shtick. This is rubbish, of course. Yet, some folks are swallowing it whole.

As Prospect writer Paul Waldman notes, having a president with solid economic knowledge (along with an equal grasp of foreign affairs) is indeed desirable. But, "the presidency is not a technocratic position." Waldman finds it odd that Romney has based his entire candidacy on the premise that his self-proclaimed business acumen will allow him to "make dramatic improvements in the economy."
Waldman writes: "But if there were a magic key to unlock spectacular growth and widely shared prosperity, you'd think we would have found it by now. There hasn't been a president in decades, the current one included, who didn't have lots of businesspeople working in his administration. And Barack Obama talks to corporate leaders all the time. If Romney knows something they don't, he hasn't told us what it is."
Of course he hasn't. He only hopes that his Pixie Dust strategy works long enough to get him elected. And it might. But neither Romney nor the man he wants to replace are in possession of a magic wand that will "deliver us to political nirvana." The difference is that Mr. Obama is well aware of that fact. But the election, alas, may come down to how much of the electorate still believes in the Blue Fairy.

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