Dr. Sowell on the fundamental governance question

Economics theory goes to the fundamental issues of human motivation and decision making. Dr. Sowell notes the ongoing conflict between the ‘crass’ factors and the ‘idealistic’ factors that have risen to a near fever pitch. We have ample evidence about where the balance between the two must lie yet evidence in insufficient for many.

Perhaps it is one of the fruits of the “self-esteem” emphasis in our schools that so many people feel confident to voice strong convictions about things they know little or nothing about — or, worse yet, are misinformed about.

Are individual decisions made by people deciding what is best for themselves to be over-ruled by ignorant busybodies, obsessed by things they do not understand?

The first is about integrity and the second about hubris. For effective governance we must realize the limits of our knowledge and understanding in the strength by which we hold our positions. We also have to allow others to choose their own path by not being overzealous about the boundaries between their behavior, the social impact, and the impact on our personal beliefs.

See his NRO column Unproductive Talk: Leave Bill Gates and Wal-Mart alone.

Comments are closed.