The Corner Solution

Jason Kuznicki is wary:

A corner solution arises whenever, when faced with a tradeoff among two or more variables, we declare that one of the variables is to be minimized regardless of the state of all of the others. In public policy, some corner solutions are justified, but most are not.

ā€œWe have to control our bordersā€ is one example of a corner solution. It posits that unauthorized border crossings are to be minimized, and it says nothing about the other factors that probably ought to be relevant to sound border policy factors like expense, loss of civil liberties, collateral damage, our international reputation, and the sheer fact that without illegal immigrants, many sectors of the economy might entirely collapse. The corner solution ignores all that. In so doing, it obtains a clarity that may or may not be real, but that is politically very useful.