More Politics

Per the post below, the conflation of politics and technocratic issues creates another kind of confusion:  The tendency to see technocratic solutions as political ones or at least minimize the political challenges that various solutions will encounter.   For instance, proponents of national education standards pay scant attention to how the very pathologies that they decry at the state level – a tendency to place looking good over actually doing well, gimmicks to make it appear performance is improving, etc… – would likely exist at the federal/national level, too, in any national scheme.    School choice proponents were surprised that Adam Smith turned out not to be such a great school superintendent because it takes more than the invisible hand to fix schools. And as we approach the second generation of mayoral control in some cities it may not seem like such a picnic under different mayors

You get the idea. In a political system politics matter and there is a tendency for reformers to see their preferred solution as not only good on the technical merits but also as a way to ease the politics, but that’s generally not the case.

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