Archive for July 18th, 2011

All too often it is dizzying to listen to politicians. Being well educated, you often ask yourself what world they live in because the way they describe ‘reality’ simply does not fit your perceived ‘reality’. So, what is going on?

In two recent articles for the Jewish World Review, Thomas Sowell brilliantly describes this phenomenon:

It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not.

As he points out, the topic does not really matter. Whether it is about taxing the rich, a state-run medical system, new stimulus packages, rent controls, or gun controls, politicians often do not show the slightest interest in facts. Instead, they simply follow their beliefs / vision. Questions like the following would just confuse the agenda:

  • What effect does an increase in the top tax rate actually have?
  • Does it really increase federal revenues?
  • Is the additional tax really born by the top income group?
  • Why should government be more efficient in the provision of health care?
  • Which stimulus package has ever worked?
  • What is the actual effect of rent controls?
  • Do countries with strong gun control laws really have less crime?

The list could be continued forever. As I said before, the onus lies with the proponents of government action. But failure to provide evidence is one of the reasons why Sowell argues there is a whole ‘Vision of the Anointed‘. People no longer question their vision as well as their own moral and intellectual superiority.


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