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Health Care and Minimum Wage

August 25, 2013

Washington Monthly: “Zombie Ideas From Bush’s Brain” by Ed Kilgore denigrates Republican ideas (or the lack thereof) in regard to the Health Care debates:

to borrow Aaron Carroll’s phrase, “zombie” ideas, that have either been debunked or can’t for one reason or another ever, ever happen… zombies, walking the earth impervious to their death

zombie ed kilgore washington monthly zombie aaron carroll

Kilgore cites The Incidental Economist: “Karl Rove’s Health Care “Ideas”” by Aaron Carroll who uses “zombie idea” to refer to ideas about policies that cross-state lines and medical malpractice tort reform:

None of these are new. You can see that I’ve already posted and written about all of these. Some of them are zombie ideas in that they sound great, don’t work, and yet no one seems to care. No matter what Mr. Rove says, however, none of these constitute real reform.

This is very similar to Paul Krugman many usages of the term (also: zombie ideas, zombie lies, or fallacies)

Contrast in Lexology: “The zombie minimum wage hike: how minimum wage legislation could raise from the dead” by Michael C. Wilhelm of Briggs and Morgan, about the Minnesota Legislature, a special session having been called to consider disaster relief, the may possibly also consider minimum wage:

The legislative effort to raise the minimum wage appeared to be dead, but recent signs indicate a potential zombie-like reawakening.

zombie michael wilhelm briggs morgan

This may seem like a different use of “zombie” here referring to an old topic that is back again, as opposed to an idea that has been disproved or impossible. But in politics it’s not really that different. In both cases, there are lots of people who oppose the idea and yet the proponents manage to keep it alive. Ideas do not die, they iterate into new forms and the decision of whether those new forms are evil perversions or valuable old chestnuts is often a political choice; the very choice of what evidence to use in assessing value is itself political.

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