Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Keyes and Reparations

Mr. Polysigh notes below that Keyes wants to exempt black Americans from the income tax as a form of reparations. It is worth noting in this context that Keyes wants to eliminate the income tax, full stop, for everyone, replacing it with a national sales tax. Perhaps this is a "nose in the tent" approach--if we get rid of the income tax for blacks, then the unfairness of not getting rid of it for whites becomes obvious...

I think it is a waste of energy trying to figure out the rationality or electoral strategy behind this...as with many of Keyes' positions (except abortion, where I think his pro-life position is deeply felt), this one is not well-thought-out or intended to attract electoral support. In fact, any attempt to find an "electoral connection" in his positions is pointless, because he's not maximizing on that dimension. As I explained in the post below, we have to locate his rational, maximizing behavior on some other dimension. That dimension is attracting attention, getting himself back into a higher rung of punditry post-election, and attracting intense (but not broad) support from the bitter-ender parts of the conservative movement. I'm not sure if even .5% of his mental energy goes into calculating the impact of his positions on the voters.

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