An Advice Column for the Perplexed and Confused on Economic and Political Issues
[Editor’s Note: In his continuing effort to bring light and clarification to current events and current issues, The Dismal Political Economist is now answering reader’s questions on how the current political and economic climate affects them personally.]
Dear Dismal Political Economist
My husband and I are thinking of buying into a policy position of Mitt Romney. We have researched policy positions by major candidates on the Web, and we have looking at reliability ratings from folks who previously purchased policy positions from various candidates. We have also read Consumer’s Reports and other publications and contacted the Better Business Bureau for further guidance.
Based on our research we now feel a Mitt Romney position is right for us. We want to buy now, while the values of Mr. Romney’s positions are heavily discounted but we will not be using the policy position until much later in the year. Our question is what should be use as the shelf life of the position, that is, how long can we wait before the position goes bad and is repudiated by Mr. Romney?
You are right to have qualms about accepting a position from Mr. Romney and having it go bad before it is implemented or even repeatedly endorsed by him. It used to be that Mr. Romney’s positions had a shelf life of several years, and that it would be as much as three or more years before Mr. Romney determined that his particular position was not politically conducive, and that he had to disavow it, rendering that position spoiled and useless.
These days it appears the shelf life of a Romney position can be measured in months rather than years. His tax policy of last September lasted only six months before it spoiled and was inedible. You really want to check the label on the policy you are considering before you purchase it.
Fortunately there is a way to estimate the shelf life of Mr. Romney’s proposals. If they contain 60% or more pander to the right wing of the Republican party, they may well last 12 months or more. If they are less than 60% pandering, then they should not be consumed more than 6 weeks after opening.
Many consumers are worried that a Romney position based on principle and independent of political gain for Mr. Romney spoils immediately, but you should not be concerned. Those positions were removed from the shelves over a decade ago, and are not expected to be available any time soon.