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The Experience of an Economist…

… listening to typical politicians discuss economics is like what I imagine would be experienced by a skilled physician listening to witchdoctors discuss human diseases and methods of healing the human body. These politicians, like witchdoctors, are not merely ignorant about that on which they hold forth, they are so utterly ignorant of the subject matter that they cannot conceive that they might be misinformed and mistaken.

This morning I had the misfortune to hear on NPR Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) pronounce on ‘shrinkflation.’ The very fact that someone so ignorant of economics has power over the economy – combined with the fact that, among successful politicians, Casey is the norm rather than the exception – is sufficient to render any case for government intervention into the economy ridiculous. Just as we would be out of our minds to trust witchdoctors to discover new modern medical treatments and to administer these in healthful ways, we are out of our minds to entrust resource-allocation decisions to politicians.