Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Focusing on the Tool Shed, not the Power Plant

From Mankiw:

The AIG bonuses now being debated in Congress and everywhere else represent about .001 percent of annual GDP. If a typical Congressman spent that fraction of a 2000 hour work year on the topic, it would consume only about 1 minute of his or her time.

Yes, I know, that calculation is silly in many ways, but here is my point: Regardless of how outraged you are about the AIG bonuses, it is probably not an optimal allocation of resources for our elected leaders to spend large amounts of time and energy on the topic. The economy has bigger problems right now, and it would be better to focus attention on those.

The tool shed analogy is from one of his readers later in the post but one gets the drift. One thought, though: How many Congresspersons really work 2000 hours per year?

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