We Need New Experts
I believe in meritocracy. The concept that the best and brightest among us should be making the important decisions that affect everything and everyone. Certainly, they’ll be wrong on occasion. That’s human nature. But the odds are they’ll be right far more often than not and we’ll all be better off for it.
The nation was founded by experts in political theory. The documents they created, our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, have proven to be guiding lights not only for the United States but the world. And they were smart enough to recognize that their first attempt at a national compact was not working and hammer out something better.
Throughout our history, our reliance on meritocracy has worked well. There have been fits and starts, but the country has inexorably become more just. Our living standards have continuously improved and the opportunities our meritocracy created lured the world’s best to our shores.
Our meritocracy reached its zenith in the Cold War period. Experts in every field of human endeavor made breathtaking creations that made the USA the envy of the world. All of the technological marvels of our time, all of the medical breakthroughs, the 20 year Pax Americana all resulted from the effort of those experts.
But something has happened over the past 25 years. The experts have been wrong far more often than they’ve been right. What’s worse, they’ve been wrong about the Very Important Things, and that’s led to public policies that have diminished the nation as a whole. From failing to recognize the threat of Islamic extremism (and actually funding it!) to WMD in Iraq through “2 weeks to stop the spread,” I’m hard pressed to think of a single thing our current crop of experts got right.
Now our current experts have gone from simply being terribly wrong to being dangerously misguided. They tell us boys can be girls. The coastlines will be underwater – 10 years ago. That experimental medications are safer and more effective than fully tested ones. That people who can only afford to put a side of poor meat at dinner three times a week can spend 2 years of earnings on a car you can’t drive in large swaths of the country.
I’m waiting for the day they tell us the sky is green and grass is orange.
The simple fact is that for a generation, our meritocracy is less a society led by the best and brightest as much it is led by the politically connected. It’s time to put all of them – in government, in academia, in medicine, in science, in engineering, in every field and every occupation – out to pasture.
When Fauci Speaks
I’ve seen a lot of doubting Dr. Anthony Fauci on my social media feeds over the last few days. I mean, A LOT.
Look, I have my differences with Dr. Fauci. As anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook is well aware, I’ve (uselessly) advocated for the Swedish model for battling the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19. I’ve doubted the models, because I thought the models were going to be woefully incapable of predicting anything given the paltry and inaccurate data they were being fed. And guess who else thought the models were going to be terribly, horribly, awfully inaccurate?
Dr. Anthony Fauci. Yep, he’s been quoted more than once as saying that there wasn’t enough data to rely on the models for making policy decisions.
The difference between Dr. Fauci and me is our preferred approach to dealing with the insufficient data. I prefer some caution, but generally keeping life going as normal as possible to minimize the long-term risks to society from an economic collapse. Dr. Fauci prefers to prioritize short-term risk mitigation and letting the economists and sociologists deal with the long-term effects.
That’s it. That’s all it is – a difference of opinion as to which approach is better. History will be the judge as to which approach is better, eventually. After all, we’re still debating which approach was best in combating the original SAR virus a generation ago.
I do not attribute Dr. Fauci’s motivations to anything nefarious. He is not a secret Bilderberger looking to destroy society so that his wealthy buddies can take over everything. He is not a closet Bernie Bro looking to force the government to implement socialism on the down-low. He is not a member of the deep state hoping that the more the administration stumbles, the easier it will be for Joe Biden to sneak into the Oval Office.
He is a very cautious doctor. Nothing more, nothing less, and he’s acting as any very cautious doctor would. You can disagree with him. But assigning some weird conspiracy theory to him isn’t warranted.