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Behavioral Pragmatism: President Obama’s Approach to Unemployment


  • Lorenzo Morris



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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