Stupid Public Policies and Other Political Myths

Publication Date: December 2008


Author(s): David Schultz

Research Area: Economics; Politics; Social conditions

Keywords: public policy, economics; states, Obama

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


American public policy is cloaked in many myths. Encompassing such issues as public subsidies to sports stadia, enterprise zones, and welfare migration, there are many ideas recycled from government to government over time with little thought given to the evidence supporting their empirical assumptions or their prospects for success. In light of the Obama administration's plans to develop an economic stimulus package for states to implement, this paper looks at ten policy myths and bad ideas. The argument is that before states spend money they need to be more attentive to what social science research says regarding what types of programs are effective.