Monday Morning Open Thread: Speaking Truth

Sunday Evening Punchdrunk Politics Open Thread

Could be worse, we could be Republicans.

Open Thread: The Terrors of Celebrity

Of course it’s an honor, but still — I think Kamala just flashed on what her mom’s expression would’ve been if she did something like this…

You know it’s Democratic because it’s (relatively) discreet. And spelled correctly, too!

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Readership Capture


Getting what you pay: state legislature edition

For the 2018-2019 school year in North Carolina, a 23 year old with a bachelor’s degree in education has a minimum starting salary of $35,000.  I hope that our legislatures have more experience and knowledge than a first year teacher as the scope of their work is more complex.

Cheap legislature pay means the legislature is easy to capture.

Term limits means expertise and knowledge devolves to lobbyists and interest groups as they know where the bathroom is as well as where the high value comma should be placed next to an “and.”

“No budget, no pay” rules means that the party whose members can go without pay for years has a significant leverage advantage over the party whose members need to pay a mortgage on the 27th of each month.

We get what we pay for.  Institutional rules partially determine leverage and power which then influences outcomes.  A legislature where the only people who can afford to serve are either independently wealthy or easily bought out by concentrated interests will have a very different agenda merely due to the life experience of relevant leaders applying a filter of their own experiences to policy problems than a legislature where a wide swath of society can afford to run and serve.

We need to think through the first and second order effects of simple solutions to complex problems as the incentives tend to get messy.