NAFTA had a positive impact on the U.S. economy. Writing about the risk of withdrawing from the 1994 agreement in The Wall Street Journal a few months ago, Matthew Slaughter, dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, wrote, “In a new report canvassing dozens of academic and policy studies, I find that the U.S. gross domestic product is now 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent larger than it would be without Nafta, a yearly boost of about $50 billion.”
Politics is theater – a gigantic effort to please ears and warm hearts. Asking hard questions is rarely a sincere effort to acquire information; pseudo-answers to such questions aren’t a sincere effort to provide information. If you think this is all benign, think again. Reality itself poses many hard questions; they’re called “trade-offs.” And the typical politician would rather dodge them than deal with them.
All campaign-finance laws have two things in common: They are supposedly written to prevent, among other things, the “appearance” of corruption. And they are written by incumbent legislators. Is there an appearance of corruption in incumbents tinkering with the rules that regulate the political competition in which their careers are at stake?