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Behavioral Pragmatism: President Obama’s Approach to Unemployment

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  • Lorenzo Morris

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Abstract

However wide the ideological distance between positive and negative prognosticators of employment growth, the pragmatic center is where the White House preferences are likely to fall. Obama’s pragmatic center may be far from the ideological center between public-private program alternatives. Instead, it is closer to the pressure center of partisan and interest-group forces that normally participate in fiscal policy-making. As a behavioral pragmatist the moderate position for Obama is found at the center of ideologically separated political competitors whatever the content of their beliefs, since content is relatively uncritical in this perspective. Pressure groups’ numbers and organizational strength define the value of their diversity more than the substance of their beliefs. For the strong believers on both political left and right the outcomes will rarely look pragmatic because they will rarely fit the traditional standards for moderation Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Morris, 2012. "Behavioral Pragmatism: President Obama’s Approach to Unemployment," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 137-154, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:blkpoe:v:39:y:2012:i:1:p:137-154 DOI: 10.1007/s12114-011-9123-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    2. Holzer, Harry J & Raphael, Steven & Stoll, Michael A, 2006. "Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 451-480, October.
    3. Derek Neal & Armin Rick, 2014. "The Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress after Smith and Welch," NBER Working Papers 20283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richard Freeman, 1987. "The relation of criminal activity to black youth employment," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 99-107, June.
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