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Perhaps I’ll honor Henry Hazlitt with this series. Here was Hazlitt’s Economic lesson:

The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.

What is the analogous political lesson?

The art of politics consists in understanding that it is not about policy; it consists in thinking that you are smarter than everyone else, that your guys will get it right this time, and that other people should pay for any policy that you deem worth pursuing.

Perhaps I’ll augment the lesson as we continue, but here is what inspired this:

Cameron Scott meant this sentence as a withering critique of everything that is wrong with the government, from his point of view:

Transit riders shouldered four times the share of the MTA [Metropolitan Transit Authority] 2008 budget disaster [than] drivers did, but officials promised to seek more revenue from parking.

Holy cr*p!  You mean that transit users shouldered four times more of the transit budget than transit non-users?  Gasp!

The Bay Area where he lives is experiencing light rail disease.  This is the phenomenon where middle class voters along heavy white collar commuting routes push for horrendously expensive light rail lines.  The capital costs of these systems drain transit budgets into the distant future, forcing service cuts, particularly in bus systems that serve the poor.  The result is that the city ends up with bigger transit bills, but less actual transit, and progressives like Scott scratch their head and try to figure out what went wrong.  It must be because non-users of Transit aren’t paying enough!

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