Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ostriches revisited

Danger began a back-and-forth by asking "how on earth can a politician telling the truth be a bad thing?"  I posed a question for danger and he responded.  I now have a follow up question for Danger and/or Gus:

Candidate A, an honest politician (oxymoron?), runs for president against Candidate B.  The economy is in bad shape (surprise!): the budgetary deficit is 15 per cent of the GDP, unemployment is rising, inflation is out of control.  It is A’s considered view that stabilization requires drastic cuts in the expenditures and tax rises.  Assume that this is backed up by the best available economic theory (don’t fight the hypo!).  B makes promises to expand welfare provisions and cut taxes.  A’s choices are (1) tell the truth, lose the election, and allow disaster to come, or (2) outbid B with ridiculous promises, win the election, and proceed to renege on his false promises and stabilize the economy.  Is A permitted to take choice (2)?  This is a classic example of “the problem of dirty hands.”

No comments:

Post a Comment