Friday, August 28, 2009

George Kenney's Electric Politics interviews Larry Beinhart, author "Fog Facts"

Dear Discomfit Readers:

It's very unusual to find a person who's a bestselling novelist -- having won an Edgar Award for his first novel and having had another made into a remarkable film, a political allegory, Wag the Dog
-- and who writes cogent political commentary, including both essays and a book, and who undertakes original, critically important social science research.
Why, for example, are taxes a good thing and not a bad thing? In part, Larry Beinhart argues, because every time we've had very low taxes we've had a bubble and a bust, but every time we've had relatively high taxes we've had prosperity. I haven't run the number myself, and I'm not aware of published research by professional economists to back this up, but I have confidence that Larry's made a simple, and correct, causal inference. And I'd note that Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch also accepts Larry's tax history.

In the bigger picture, however, what often matters most in policy arguments is not the substance of the issue per se, but how one frames the questions. And Larry is an expert at that.

So here's an interesting take from someone who's not in the center of the whirlwind, who doesn't have experience in the federal government, but who brings a fresh if slightly jaundiced eye to politics.

As always, if you enjoy the podcast please feel free to redistribute the link.



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