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Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Negative Incentives

Apparently, we're offering all sorts of carrots, including help with peaceful nuclear power, to convince Iran to stop enriching their uranium. I'm not sure this is a great idea. It strongly incentivizes bad actions. It's almost like the money for guns idea that is still ocassionally pulled out by various cities. All it does is incentivize the bad behavior, to get the reward of ceasing it. Sometimes a simple "desist or face the consequences" message is the best policy. However, I can see why many want to get this taken care of diplomatically. If possible, that's usually the best solution. However, we also need to look long term. That's one of the inherent problems with our system of government. Politicians, especially Presidents, are always looking at the short term, because their focus is on getting re-elected. Maybe placating Iran will work in the short term, but what will the harvest be long-term?


2 comments

Comments:
I agree, mostly in that giving up your guns is a bad act that should not be incentivised.
 
I would leave a longer comment, but it's late and I'm tired. My only concern is that this may well be the best long-term solution. Maybe a friendly, cordial Iran (nuclear power or not) is better in the end than an un-friendly second tier country with an axe to grind.
 
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