Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on January 30, 2022

in Hubris and humility, Man of System

… is from page 31 of William Easterly’s superb 2013 book, The Tyranny of Experts:

Hayek was blunt that a “national goal” just covered up the fact that some goals for some groups were attained at the expense of other goals for other groups.

DBx: Experts at most can explain how best to achieve an agreed-upon goal. Experts cannot, however, choose which goals should be pursued. Nor can experts – this fact follows from the previous one – tell us whether or not additional ‘units’ of desirable goal A are worth the corresponding necessary sacrifice of some ‘units’ of desirable goals B, C, …, N.

Not surprisingly, of course, many ‘experts’ – especially those with political power or influence – ignore this inescapable reality. They speak and act as if there is widespread-enough agreement on ‘social’ goals. Thus is the way cleared for ‘experts’ to treat the masses as pieces on a chessboard.

Add a Comment    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: