Why Politicians Ignore Facts

Professor David Schultz discusses why U.S. policymaking is often based on political myths, not actual evidence.


What can be done to improve the political process?

Maybe we need to be doing a much better job in K-12 and in college in terms of teaching good, old-fashioned civics so that people are just better equipped and more knowledgeable about understanding the political process. The hope is with that better basis of knowledge, we as citizens can take a better role in trying to improve the level of knowledge and dialogue in our election system and in our lawmaking system.

Do you think the gap between research and ideology can be bridged?

I think it can be, and I think it has to be. Now, we don't always know what's going to work. There's no claim here that academics or social scientists are gods and that all the answers are out there. But we do have pretty good information. What we need to do is to create incentives for public officials to be able to look at this information and to take it seriously.

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