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Pelosi's Republic

The House Speaker says health care reform will finally allow artists to focus on being unemployed, comfortably.

2:50 PM, Mar 12, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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I probably let my ideological bias overblow what Pelosi meant, and for that I apologize. If I was too critical, Chait is probably too forgiving in arguing that neither Pelosi's quote nor her favored policy positions carry with them danger of perverse incentives or unintended consequences—both concepts of which he seems utterly ignorant, which is sadly typical of an enormous percentage of liberal commentators. There is quite a clear difference between thinking that losing one's health care is an "appropriate punishment" for those who lose their jobs and worrying that incentivizing not working could be problematic, which is an idea New Republic writers were more sympathetic to in the days of Clinton welfare reform.

Speaking of perverse incentives, if Chait wants responses to his blog posts, it might be best not to start sentences therein with "I don't wish people bad personal fortune, but." Sheesh.

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