Santa’s List

I remember at least one Christmas as a kid when I went through a toy catalog circling all the toys I wanted and starring the ones I really wanted.

There were way too many of both, and I’m not sure I actually got even one. (And, for what it’s worth, I can’t remember any of them and probably didn’t miss much in the long run.)

The lesson, of course, is that listing and naming priorities is fun, but listing priorities in order is hard.

Once you listen for this in our public-policy “debate,” you’ll hear it everywhere: most people are trying to circle or star another toy in the catalog.

Of course we’d all like to get everything under the tree. But that almost never happens. The trick isn’t so much to raise awareness of the entire catalog as to get the most meaningful presents delivered.