...the mismatch between the incidence of costs and benefits indicates the degree of inefficiency and risk of collapse from economic, political or environmentalWhile discussing this idea in class, I scribbled out the following illustration of that idea:
The red line shows the amount of enthusiasm objectively supported by "science," which helps clarify if the public is too optimistic about the policy (e.g., recycling) or too pessimistic (e.g., nuclear power), but that discussion is secondary to the main point on stability, i.e., this figure:
Why would politicians deviate from the public will?
- Corruption: serving special interests
- Ideology: personal beliefs over the beliefs of the people
- Error: misunderstanding what the public wants.
Bottom line: A policy that fails to match public preferences is unlikely to last.