I Support Government By Experts

by Don Boudreaux on November 8, 2016

in Hubris and humility, Regulation

In my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I argue that people should be governed by experts – that is, each individual should be governed by himself or herself, for no one is more expert in an individual than is that same individual.  A slice:

Only you are expert on you and your family. Only you know if it’s “right” for you to deal with the risks and benefits of a certain drug. Of course, you’d be wise to seek input from a physician. But ultimately, even that physician shouldn’t have the final word over your medical treatment, for that physician is no expert on your preferences.

Similarly, only you are expert on what sort of employment arrangement is best for you. Despite the hordes of Ph.D.-boasting economists at the Department of Labor – and despite the countless reams of paper on which those scholars print the results of their econometric tests that reveal this or that variable to be “statistically significant” – those officials have zero knowledge of, say, whether it’s best for you to arrange for your employer to pay you overtime whenever you work more than 40 hours weekly. Of course more pay is nice, but you might prefer the greater job flexibility that your employer offers in lieu of overtime pay. But today, you, – the real expert – are overridden by the pretend experts in government who increasingly dictate your and other individuals’ terms of employment.

Government by pretend “experts” destroys government by true experts.


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