Making Government Smarter
These days, people for the most part believe that governments should try to promote the general welfare of the populations they serve. The disagreements come over how to do that—what goals to focus on, what policies to adopt, and so on. These questions are usually approached through broad intellectual frameworks, such as political ideology or religion, and much time is spent debating the finer points of various doctrines. Often overlooked, however, is a simple and easy way to make lives better: use routine cost-benefit analysis to compare the expected returns from alternative policies and then choose the more effective ones.