Arnold Kling  

Technocracy

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Ways in Which the U.S. has Bec... Drugs, Death, Censorship, and ...

David Brooks writes,


When historians look back on this period, they will see it as another progressive era. It is not a liberal era -- when government intervenes to seize wealth and power and distribute it to the have-nots. It's not a conservative era, when the governing class concedes that the world is too complicated to be managed from the center. It's a progressive era, based on the faith in government experts and their ability to use social science analysis to manage complex systems.

I have faith in the expertise of my dentist. I have faith in the expertise of my auto mechanic. I have faith in the expertise of the people who manufactured my computer. I have faith in the people who figured out how to bring grapes to my supermarket. I have faith in the expertise of the people who work at charities to which I contribute.

When it comes to having faith in experts, I yield to no one. I have tons of faith in experts. I just lack faith in experts who require the power of the state standing behind their expertise.

Bill Joy's Law of Management says that "No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else." He formulated that law to apply to business. However, it also applies to government.


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COMMENTS (8 to date)
Philo writes:

And if you're the government, most of the smartest people work for people who are trying to get around your regulations.

Doc Merlin writes:

"When it comes to having faith in experts, I yield to no one. I have tons of faith in experts. I just lack faith in experts who require the power of the state standing behind their expertise."

That last sentence is key. If someone requires violence to back up their expertise, then there expertise is in getting people to back them up with violence, not whatever it is they are claiming.

DCPI writes:

So it seems that certain segments of the credit market are about to shut down due to ill-thought through legislation intended to punish the ratings agencies.

Wall Street Journal: Bond Sale? Don't Quote Us, Say Credit Firms

Who are the experts again? What the article does not explain is why Dodd and Frank changed the law at the last minute and caused this fallout.

Troy Camplin writes:

I think it's time for an all-out war on bureaucrats and cureaucracy. My first recommendation is a change in rhetoric: we need to start calling bureaucrats "the parasitic class."

Noah Yetter writes:

Confidence, not faith. Faith is belief in the face of opposing evidence.

Hyena writes:

Troy,

As an actual bureaucrat in the Federal government, I take offense at that. We do what the officials elected by the public instruct us to do, they are our management. If you have a problem, take it up with them.

BZ writes:

"When it comes to having faith in experts, I yield to no one. I have tons of faith in experts. I just lack faith in experts who require the power of the state standing behind their expertise."

The immorality of their means is vital, but another important difference between the expertise of your dentist and the expertise of the regulator is a Hayekian point: knowledge of time and place. You can't be an expert in running the whole economy, no matter how much schooling you have.

@Hyena: I recommend quitting and taking a job with a slightly more ethical firm. The mafia comes to mind.

Hyena writes:

BZ,

You are, after all, free to leave our giant HOA if you like. As for my job, it's temporary and part of a Constitutionally-mandated function.

Shove it.

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