Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Welfare Reform Meets Iraq Policy

Well, not exactly, but the ever-surprising John Derbyshire makes a very interesting observation on the "timetable" question:

A reader whose work is to get franchise operations up and running tells me it's **KEY** to have some definite date when his guys w and let the franchisee take over. If you don't do that, the psychological dependence never gets broken -- the training wheels never come off. That sounds right to me. Putting together a working army and police force doesn't take THAT long, if the motivation is there. Six month's training is fine for combat troops. Yet here we are in year three. Perhaps a withdrawal date would concentrate Iraqi minds. Frankly, they don't seem all that concentrated right now.
A similar sentiment, of course, formed the underpinning of welfare reform. It could only succeed if welfare's open-ended entitlement status ended and recipients were given a clear timetable upon which to get their act together before aid was cut off.

Of course, war is a very different beast, but certain aspects of human nature translate across both geography and situation. Derb's (reader's) main point is a good one -- figure out how to concentrate the mind of (good) Iraqis to help speed up the transition process.

UPDATE: Geez!! I can't believe Saletan over at Slate beat me to the "welfare reform" meme -- by four hours!!! Aargh!!!! (Thanks to Matthew Yglesias over at Tapped for blogging Will.)

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