Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Questions about the Political Process, Collective Choice and Collective Action

Do we have reason to believe that the political process in the US responds appropriately to new information? Is any specific choice made by that process more likely to be correct or good than some other process? What alternative processes are feasible? Is there any aspect of the political process as practiced in DC that filters out bad ideas? What does "correct" mean in this context? Can government learn from its mistakes? Will it? What will it learn?
The ant colony learns and adapts to its environment. But it can't learn French, and it ignores issues of ethics. How much influence can people within the system have on the system? How much do the beliefs of the component persons affect the outcomes of the system?
Are policies that are based on accurate factual claims and predictions more likely to be popular?
The system is in place and voting perturbs or corrects it now and then.
Is politics about theories or values? Are political answers correct or incorrect, good or bad, both, or niether?
With regard to a policy, will it have the desired effect, what side-effects will it create, and do we really want the primary effect or not? Is it better than the next best alternative? What is the next best alternative? Can the political process become a source of experimentation and discovery?

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