chapter  4
32 Pages

Setting Higher Goals

WithStuart S. Nagel

The conservative goal should be referred to as continuity, not stability. The key liberal goal is responsiveness, which is broad enough to include more than just electoral responsiveness. Achieving the optimum is considered to be a high goal, although that partly depends on how the optimum is defined. This chapter discusses doing better than the optimum on crime reduction and other social indicators. In discussing the general means for achieving the super-optimum goals, one must recognize that those means are going to cost large amounts of money for appropriate subsidies, tax breaks and some forms of regulation. The chapter purposes to pursue that thought in the context of public policy problems, especially policy problems that are as fundamental as unemployment and inflation. If unemployment and inflation can both be reduced to close to zero, then the economy, almost by definition, is in a state of high prosperity.