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Do as Arnold Kling Recommends (or Maybe I’m Thinking of Mike Munger)

Think of your favorite proposal that involves giving more power to government. It doesn’t matter what this proposal is. Just always remember this fact: among the persons who in reality will play a role in determining the details of how that proposal will be crafted into an actual policy and how that policy will be carried out in the real world is the likes of this unfathomably ignorant person.

So if you tingle happily, for example, at the thought of industrial policy as proposed by Marco Rubio, Oren Cass, or Daniel McCarthy, see how much you continue to tingle when you come to grips with the reality that a person such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez will have a say in formulating and supervising that policy. Likewise, if you want government to have more say in mandating the terms of labor contracts, try to imagine how you’ll react when you encounter the effects that the likes of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders will have on the actual design and implementation of this policy. Still hopeful?

Nothing is easier than identifying the billion and three ways that reality falls short of whatever ideal you carry around as a lovely image in your head. But this reality will always be with us: the government officials who will be entrusted to carry out the interventionist scheme you favor are not and will never be gods or even your wise old Uncle Stu or your insightful and modest grandma Betty. Among the government officials who will actually design and carry out your favorite interventionist scheme are people such as Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Sanders, Rep. Waters, Sen. Schumer, Rep. Schiff, Pres. Trump, advisor Navarro.

Do you really trust these people? And if you do, what reason has anyone else to trust you?