Monday, August 20, 2012

Distraction


Here's an interesting proposition, to which I guess I'll have to plead guilty: Paul Ryan's presence on the ticket makes it less likely that the most pressing problem we face will be central to the campaign. My post on Ryan is what the author is talking about:
...putting Ryan on the ticket tends to cement the idea of the 2012 election as a choice between two competing ideological visions.

Focusing attention on the big-picture disagreement between Democrats and Republicans about long-term fiscal policy means we will not be focusing attention on what ought to be the most pressing economic policy issue of our time—mass unemployment and the tragic waste of human and economic potential it represents. ... But that means the terrible economic performance since 2009 and the large jobs deficit built up during that period are going to receed further into the rearview mirror. Romney is essentially conceding that the past 18 months of 150,000 jobs per month are good enough to get Obama re-elected, and he needs to wage a campaign about something bigger. Which means that, a bit weirdly, the issue that ought to dominate the campaign is going to fade into obscurity.


I guess I buy that, although R and R address job creation with the time-honored falsehood that cutting taxes is all you need to do. So, really, it's implicit in their claims. But other than that, they'll avoid discussing the sorts of things the government actually can and ought to do to address jobs, because they don't believe it has a role at all.

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