Bryan Caplan, Assistant Professor an der amerikanischen Georg Mason Universität, in The Idea Trap über unbefriedigende wirtschaftliche Entwicklung, schlechte Politik und die Schwierigkeiten, dieser Politik zugrundeliegende Denkweisen zu überwinden:
... the least pleasant places in the world to live normally have three features in common: First, low economic growth; second, policies that discourage growth; and third, resistance to the idea that other policies would be better. I have a theory to explain this curious combination.3 Imagine that the three variables I just named—growth, policy, and ideas—capture the essence of a country's economic/political situation. Then suppose that three "laws of motion" govern this system. The first two are almost true by definition:
1. Good ideas cause good policies.
2. Good policies cause good growth.
The third law is much less intuitive:
3. Good growth causes good ideas.
The third law only dawned on me when I was studying the public's beliefs about economics,4 and noticed that income growth seems to increase economic literacy, even though income level does not. In other words, poor people whose income is rising—like recent immigrants—have more than the average amount of economic sense; rich people whose income is falling—like the Kennedy family—have less.
This bare-bones model has a surprising implication: There is more than one outcome with staying power.5 The good news is that you can have favorable results across the board. Good ideas lead to good policy, good policy leads to good growth, and good growth reinforces good ideas. The bad news is that you can also get mired in the opposite outcome. A society can get stuck in an "idea trap," where bad ideas lead to bad policy, bad policy leads to bad growth, and bad growth cements bad ideas.
If both good and bad combinations of growth, policy, and ideas are stable, why does anything ever change? The answer, in my model, is luck. An economy in the idea trap usually stays in the idea trap. But once in a while, it wins a little lottery. Maybe the president of the country happens to read Bastiat during his last term, and decides to try a more free-market approach. This increases growth, which in turn improves the climate of public opinion. And maybe—just maybe—public opinion changes enough to elect another president who embraces his predecessor's reforms. ..