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Thread: The pretense of knowledge

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    Default The pretense of knowledge

    The Pretense of Knowledge

    Opinion Editorial by Walter E. Williams - Dec 1, 2009

    Politicians insist on ever-increasing control over our lives under the pretense of knowing what's best for the people. Shall we explode this theory of bureaucratic omniscience as we view its logical conclusion?



    The ultimate constraint that we all face is knowledge what we know and don't know. The knowledge problem is pervasive and by no means trivial as hinted at by just a few examples. You've purchased a house. Was it the best deal you could have gotten? Was there some other house you could have purchased that 10 years later would not have needed extensive repairs or was in a community with more likeable neighbors and a better environment for your children? What about the person you married? Was there another person who would have made for a more pleasing spouse? Though these are important questions, the most intelligent answer you can give to all of them is: "I don't know."

    Since you don't know the answers, who do you think, here on Earth, is likely to know and whom would you like to make these decisions for you Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, George Bush, a czar appointed by Obama or a committee of Washington bureaucrats? I bet that if these people were to forcibly make housing or marital decisions for us, most would deem it tyranny.

    You say, "Williams, Congress is not making such monumental decisions that affect my life." Try this. You are a 22-year-old healthy person. Instead of spending $3,000 or $4,000 a year for health insurance, you'd prefer investing that money in equipment to start a landscaping business. Which is the best use of that $3,000 or $4,000 a year purchasing health insurance or starting up a landscaping business and who should decide that question: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, George Bush, a czar appointed by Obama or a committee of Washington bureaucrats? How can they possibly know what's the best use of your earnings, particularly in light of the fact that they have no idea of who you are?

    Neither you nor the U.S. Congress has the complete knowledge to know exactly what's best for you. The difference is that when individuals make their own trade-offs, say between purchasing health insurance or investing in a business, they make wiser decisions because it is they who personally bear the costs and benefits of those decisions. You say, "Hold it, Williams, we've got you now! What if that person gets really sick and doesn't have health insurance. Society suffers the burden of taking care of him." To the extent that is a problem, it is not a problem of liberty; it's a problem of congressionally mandated socialism. Let's look at it.
    It is not society that bears the burden; it is some flesh and blood American worker who finds his earnings taken by Congress to finance the health needs of another person. There is absolutely no moral case, much less constitutional case, for Congress forcibly using one American to serve the purposes of another American, a practice that differs only in degree from slavery, which we all should find morally offensive.

    Whether it is health care, education, employment or most other areas of our lives, I ask you: Who has the capacity to master all the complexity to make choices on behalf of others? Each of us possesses only a tiny percentage of the knowledge that would be necessary to make totally informed decisions in our own lives, much less the lives of others.

    There is only one reason for the forcible transference of decision-making authority over important areas of our private lives to elite decision-makers in Congress and government bureaucracies. Doing so confers control, power, wealth and revenue to society's elite. What's in the best interests of individual members of society, such as a person who'd rather launch a landscaping business than purchase a health insurance policy, ranks low on the elite's list of priorities.
    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He has authored more than 150 publications, including many in scholarly journals, and has frequently given expert testimony before Congressional committees on public policy issues ranging from labor policy to taxation and spending.



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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    $3,000 to start a landscaping business???

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Alright asshole, then YOU can pay for all the highways, roads, signs, telephone poles, and regulatory agencies that see you able to travel, eat, buy products, and be militarily protected and all the other shit you take for granted every fucking day. ALL BY YOURSELF.

    These people are such fucking retards. "I don't want to pay for anything other than what I use myself!" DOES NOT MAKE A SOCIETY. It makes a homestead. Perfectly fine if you want the US to devolve into lawless, undeveloped third world anarchy.

    God, I HATE THESE ARTICLES! They're so fucking STUPID, written by shortsighted, myopic people with an unrealistic selfish axe to grind.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Every time Walter Williams publishes an article, George Mason University comes an inch closer to looking like a daycare center for adults.

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Did you go to school, JamieElizabeth?

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    Whether it is health care, education, employment or most other areas of our lives, I ask you: Who has the capacity to master all the complexity to make choices on behalf of others? Each of us possesses only a tiny percentage of the knowledge that would be necessary to make totally informed decisions in our own lives, much less the lives of others.
    Oh go fuck yourself, Walter Williams. It can be done. Growing up in central Massachusetts, my kids have gotten a better education at public schools than I ever got growing up in La Jolla. People in countries with socialized medicine often receive great health care. There is immense knowledge out there and sharing knowledge and resources works better than people trying to do everything themselves.

    I mean, what about those toothless retards home-schooling their kids so they don't have to learn about evolution? Yeah, that's a success.

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    There's a delicious irony in that title, by the way.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Where the hell is the zzzzzz smiley face? These articles are hilarious but ultimately tiresome.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    It is not society that bears the burden; it is some flesh and blood American worker who finds his earnings taken by Congress to finance the health needs of another person. There is absolutely no moral case, much less constitutional case, for Congress forcibly using one American to serve the purposes of another American, a practice that differs only in degree from slavery, which we all should find morally offensive.
    It's worse than slavery to help fellow citizens and the health of your own nation? I take it this guy isn't a Christian, much less a patriotic American.
    Where was this guy when the flesh and blood American worker was forced to finance the death and mutilation of fellow flesh and blood Americans, and many others? Forcing Americans to pay for forcing other Americans to take lives is better than slavery, right Professor?

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    Neither you nor the U.S. Congress has the complete knowledge to know exactly what's best for you. The difference is that when individuals make their own trade-offs, say between purchasing health insurance or investing in a business, they make wiser decisions because it is they who personally bear the costs and benefits of those decisions
    People are not hyper-rational economic robots. They often make bad decisions.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleWasHere View Post
    Did you go to school, JamieElizabeth?
    Yeah, unforunately, and I'm thinking about going back.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    ^^Probably a good idea. Maybe a good conservative school like, erm, Berkley?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieElizabeth View Post
    Yeah, unforunately, and I'm thinking about going back.

    Pay attention this time. It'll do you some good.

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    Gold Member Dorahacky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieElizabeth View Post
    Yeah, unforunately, and I'm thinking about going back.
    Why is it unfortunate that you went to school? And if that's the case, then why would you go back? *confused*
    We all like to think we're so special. But in the end, we all do the same stupid shit. - Dennis Miller


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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorahacky View Post
    Why is it unfortunate that you went to school? And if that's the case, then why would you go back? *confused*
    it's unfortunate because it's obvious it was a waste of time and she didn't learn shit.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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