‘We always plan too much and think too little. We resent a call to thinking and hate unfamiliar argument that does not tally with what we already believe or would like to believe.’
– Joseph Schumpeter, (1947, pg. xi)
My objective today is to put forth a call for each of you to rethink how we do applied policy analysis. I plan to justify the need for this rethinking using a variety of arguments. Some of my arguments will be familiar to most if not all of you, others may be unfamiliar to most if not all. I claim no originality for the basic theoretical arguments, they all appear in the literature. What 1 hope you find to be original and useful is the synthesis of these arguments. Furthermore, though in places 1 will point out the need for additional theoretical work, my primary goal is to convince practicing agricultural policy analysts to become more comprehensive in their analyses. In the grand tradition of presidential addresses, my remarks cover a rather broad range of issues at the expense of depth on any one issue. Nevertheless, I hope that my remarks will stimulate discussion and thought about how we as agricultural economists do applied policy analysis.