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The Stupidity of 'Experts'

November 17, 2014 in Economics

By Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

The only surprising thing about Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s revelations that the legislation was based on a series of lies and voter stupidity was that Mr. Gruber was so stupid to think no one would see the videos of him saying so.

The good news is that, perhaps, many more Americans will wake up to the fact that Obamacare is not the only hoax they have been subjected to, and will be much more skeptical about policy experts’ snake oil. Most of these schemes increase the power and money flowing to the political class and their “experts,” while robbing the pocketbooks and liberties of the people.

The great economist F.A. Hayek (1899-1992) argued there was a limit to what any one person or even groups of people could know, which was one reason socialist planning always failed. His 1974 Nobel Prize lecture ended with the following sentence: “The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility, which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society — a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed, but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.”

Big-government intellectuals seldom own up when their policies fail.”

Washington, Paris, London, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo are rife with “experts” who claim they are smarter than markets and know what is best for others. The whole socialist and big-government ideal is predicated on the notion that the intellectuals can bring us nirvana — but something always goes wrong. Yet, blissfully, without self-doubt, they go from failure to failure to failure, as others pay the price.

The “smart” folks around the world, consisting of many members of the political class, such as President Obama and many scientists who live off the taxpayer-funded grants, tell us we must spend hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars to stop global warming. The villain they have identified is carbon dioxide. Their solutions are to subsidize things such as windmills and solar cells, even though their own models indicate they will have almost no measurable effect on the Earth’s temperature 100 years from now. However, these subsidies do create campaign contributions and other financial benefits for their advocates. When it is pointed out …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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