… is from page 175 of my colleague emeritus Gordon Tullock’s 1970 book, Private Wants, Public Means ; the hypothetical person to whom Gordon here refers is the all-too-typical academician or politician who behaves as if his or her assessments of reality are – and ought to be – the ones that guide government policy-making:
His tastes will normally be quite different from those of the ordinary man. Unfortunately, he is likely to assume that things that disturb him, disturb other people and that hence reduction of externalities will consist largely of changing the world to one that he personally would approve.
This sober assessment by Gordon was sparked by his reading E.J. Mishan’s 1967 book, The Costs of Economic Growth .
Gordon’s understanding, of course, is shared by Thomas Sowell .