Trade-Offs

In this blog, I have often pointed out most policy decisions are trade-offs. In fact, almost all decisions in life are trade-offs. That’s one reason we need economics: to understand trade-offs that are not so obvious.

I am struck by the number of pundits, politicians, and advocates who never admit that trade-offs exist. I find it hard to believe that they are so dull of mind that they don’t recognize trade-offs, although I suppose it’s possible. It seems more likely that they deliberately avoid discussing trade-offs. Perhaps they think their audience is too dull of mind to understand. Perhaps they’re trying to trick us. Perhaps it’s just oversight – I suppose I’m guilty of that myself. In any event, advocating without acknowledging the trade-offs involved is a serious shortcoming. Stay alert.

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