rev’s thing

This is st_rev’s, but I find myself referencing it a lot, so I’m putting it here:

You want to sell product/project/policy X for dealing with Z. Z is guaranteed to 1) get worse, 2) get better, or 3) stay the same.

If 1: “Z is getting worse, we need more X!”
If 2: “X is working, we need more X!”
If 3: “X kept Z from getting worse, we need even more X!”

Originally got this analysis from Penn & Teller regarding quack medicine, but it applies to public policy just as well. Drug war? Stimulus?

Drug use is increasing, we need more drug war! Drug use is declining, we need more drug war!

Stimulus kept economy out of depression, we need more stimulus! (tm Paul Krugman).