Archive for August, 2011

Matt Yglesias:

 If you’re talking about a purely political speech then dwelling on the fact that negative real interest rates are crazy or how the Federal Reserve should be more tolerant of higher prices and especially higher prices for food and gasoline is a bad strategy. The public doesn’t have a deep understanding of the deficit or passionate views about it, but they know that they’re “bad.” The public has less understanding of monetary policy, but they know that inflation is “bad.”


Are there any highly technical subjects that have successfully gotten through to the public at large? The main example I can think of is environmental science. Somehow people did manage to learn about the greenhouse effect, the ozone hole, and so forth. On the other hand, the environmental movement originally grew because of issues that were not particuarly technical. It’s not hard to understand why people might be attracted to environmentalism when their local Midwestern river is catching fire.