Imagine that you are strongly opposed to abortion rights, and what you'd like is for all abortions to be illegal. Then you're faced with two alternatives:
1. In Path 1, federal funds will not be used to give anyone abortion coverage, but the number of abortions will either stay the same or increase.
2. In Path 2, federal funds will not be used to give anyone abortion coverage, but the number of abortions will decline.
A few days ago, Dan Ariely of Duke University, was on NPR to discuss his research on the way doctors make decisions, which mirrors the troubling ways consumers make decisions. If a pizza menu starts with the pie with everything, then descends into options with fewer and fewer toppings, people will order more toppings than if they're looking at a menu that puts the plain pie at the top.
Today's Washington Post features a piece by two Democratic pollsters, Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, advising Democrats to jettison health-care reform, because "the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate's reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls."
Lots of people, myself included, have lamented the fact that for all America's dominance of the Internet, there are other countries, like South Korea, where they have better broadband service than we do. But when you look at the entire globe, it's obvious that the world is divided into Internet haves, and Internet have-nots. Play around with this interactive data visualization from Google: