Farm Subsidies and Other Horrors

Here is the Washington Post with a depressing article, summed up thusly:

The Republican-led House voted to slash domestic and international food aid Thursday while rejecting cuts to farm subsidies.

Shove this one firmly into the “fuel for leftist fire” file. Stop helping low status people! Keep helping (GASP!) Agribusiness!

Maybe that’s the right analytical conclusion. I doubt it.

The great power of ideology is that it lets you infer motivation from outcomes. The great weakness of ideology is that it’s wrong.

It’s wrong because its input isn’t real information (is it even possible to understand who all the losers and winners are in this bill, much less why?) And it’s wrong because nobody actually makes decisions based on ideology.

That’s a reason why voters find politics so frustrating. Why won’t candidates genuinely bind themselves to actions during the election process when ideological posturing is at its peak?

Well, because decisions driven by ideology are usually nonsense. Real decisions are made with far more information than the public could possibly process during a campaign.

So here we have a narrative developing that is cloaked in a powerful ideology. And it’s no accident, either. The press knows that’s the only way they could hope to interest readers in all this byzantine garbage. And again, maybe it’s what is really happening. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I refuse to get worked up about something I don’t understand and I refuse to spend the time trying to understand what is really going on.

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