Bail

Terrific story from NPR on the incredibly corrupt and wrong-headed bail system in Texas (focusing on the situation in my former home of Lubbock).  As with many policies, the Texas policies on bail are just plain dumb and inefficient policy, but very beneficial to a select group (i.e., bail bondsmen) so they're not going anywhere.  The bail bonds industry makes a ton of money off this stupid policy so they fight tooth and nail (and quite successfully) to keep it.  Those who lose are a) criminals– not a lot of political clout there, and b) the citizens of Texas who are burdened with this stupid system, but who largely unaffected for it but for their wasted tax dollars– i.e., not a concentrated lobby to fight against it.  When the interest groups section of class comes around, this will definitely be assigned.

Paraphrase of the day

From Matt Yglesias:

 If focusing on jobs created jobs, incumbents would never lose elections.

All this talk about Democrats and Obama needing to "focus on jobs" is so tiresome and Matt gets it all in his nice pithy quote.  The president and Congress can do something about health care, there's only so much they can do about jobs.

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