Monday, 13 December 2010

The dartboard theory of public spending

Overall, the establishment and defence of EMA are examples of what I might call the dartboard theory of public spending, where the dartboard represents the social problem to be fixed and the blind dartsman represents the government
1. Spot dartboard
2. Chuck 1000 darts in general direction of dartboard.
3. Commission IFS to do cross-cohort longitudinal study showing that three darts did, indeed, hit the double top.
4. Claim you are therefore the Phil Taylor of solving social problems.
5. Demand an extra 1000 darts in order to get even better results.
6. Claim all those against this idea are against doing anything about social problems at all, ever – and even better claim any cut to the 1000 darts is evil, wicked, devastating, punitive, cruel, unfairpernicious, a tragedy and a travesty.

I know who I'd rather have in charge of public spending.

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