Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on April 9, 2014

in Current Affairs, Hubris and humility, Politics

… is from page 298 of Thomas Sowell’s 2009 book, Intellectuals and Society:

Many of the incentives and constraints behind the patterns of intellectuals apply to another group – politicians – whose decisions as government officials can greatly magnify the influence of intellectuals.  It is virtually axiomatic that, in an era when governments legislate, regulate and finance an ever more sweeping range of activities, there is no given individual with the amount or depth of consequential knowledge to competently make such a range of decisions.  The net result is that politicians, like intellectuals, achieve public recognition when they go beyond the bounds of their competence, which they must do at least as often as public intellectuals, especially when many politicians have no special area of expertise, except in the art of getting elected.

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