The New York Times Sunday Business section posed the question “Why can’t I stop making the same choices, and experiment?” Habits are powerful, and one study estimated that 47 percent of human behavior is habitual. The rub comes when executives and policymakers fail to experiment in their jobs, because these failures can be particularly costly. When playing with people’s lives, we are right to be wary of experimenting, but overconfidence and the power of precedent also holds us back. Experimentation is an act of humility and acknowledgement that there is simply no way of knowing without trying something different. Reducing corporate taxes has been bantered about by politicians for decades as we watched companies leave America. The issue comes when we couple reduced corporate taxes with so many independent variables, such as eliminating state income tax deductions, the net effect may be murky.
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