Hillary Clinton's visit to New Zealand is being described as very significant.Described by who and what does significant mean in this context?
Anyway, another significant Clinton event was her recent speech on development at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C. Development economist William Easterly has blogged on the speech: Tower of Babble: Hillary Clinton’s speech about development was not all bad, but it still contained plenty of nonsense and overly political thinking. Easterly writes,
Once upon a time, I believed in the theory that logic and evidence influenced public policy. After experience rudely contradicted this thesis, I switched to Theory No. 2: Political incentives cause public officials to say things inconsistent with logic and evidence -- babble.He goes on to outline 4 classic signs of babble, and the political incentives that cause them.
These thoughts were prompted by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's speech today on the U.S. government's new approach to economic development. It was not ALL babble. Among other things, she had some good ideas about soap. However, there was evidence in speech for Theory No. 2. Let's show some compassion for gifted individuals like Secretary Clinton, whom politics forces to babble.
- Announce in the speech that you are going to do one thing, and then spend the rest of the speech doing the opposite.
- Announce you are going to solve problems that have been insoluble for decades.
- Mention obvious tradeoffs, then deny their existence.
- When you say "THAT is not what we will do," you mean it except for the "not."