We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Well, nobody. However, it doesn't matter because the regulators are our moral and intellectual superiors like Cass Sunstein. Philosopher-Kings, you might say, or experts.
I am more from the William F. Buckley Jr school:
"I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."
The regulation-maniacs assume, of course, that we common folk have no sense, no information, and few morals, and constantly need their guidance, rules, and laws. Most of them, I suspect, have minimal contact with us regular folks.
Modern skepticism about rationality is largely motivated by years of experiments on cognitive bias. We are prone to apparently irrational phenomena such as the anchoring effect (if we are told to think of some arbitrary number, it will affect our snap response to an unrelated question) or the availability error (we judge questions according to the examples that come most easily to mind, rather than a wide sample of evidence). There has been some controversy over the correct statistical interpretations of some studies, and several experiments that ostensibly demonstrate ‘priming’ effects, in particular, have notoriously proven difficult to replicate. But more fundamentally, the extent to which such findings can show that we are acting irrationally often depends on what we agree should count as ‘rational’ in the first place.
It's an interesting article. I have always figured that humans are partly and sometimes rational and practical, often emotional, frequently uninformed or misinformed, etc. etc. I feel the same way about the regulators who seem to me to be irrationally obsessed with the idea of controlling others to try to make the world fit their fantasies. I'm sure Psychiatry has a term for that tendency. After all those who like to regulate are heir to the same human foibles and temptations as everybody else. Just more grandiose in their self-esteem and less humble and self-doubting.
I live in Florida. Everyday there are story's (probably targeted to me) about unbelievable stupidity that occurs in Fl. and it is everyday. These people, (hope they don't vote) are to some extent (probably) responsible for the notion that "the people" need to be regulated. If I could get then exiled to the North East states, or better yet, to Europe, it might be a harder sell that we need so much regulating.
I'm old enough to remember when regulating was about bowel movements.
"The regulation-maniacs assume, of course, that we common folk have no sense, no information, and few morals, and constantly need their guidance, rules, and laws."
I have had people on the left tell me that the charitable giving deduction on income taxes should be gotten rid of, as individuals cannot possibly have sufficient information to know which are the right charities to give to. Only the government has enough resources to determine that.
No knock on William Buckley but the comment about trusting the first 400 people in the Boston phone directory with our government I first heard in 1959 from Professor Crane Brinton as we walked across Harvard Yard. I believe he said 200 but government was much smaller than. I do not believe Brinton claimed authorship. After recovering from an outburst of laughter at this truly wonderful comment, I asked him and he said he heard it in the faculty dining room but did not recall who had said it. I heard it many times in the following decade but do not recall hearing any claim of authorship.
I was given a "lecture" recently by an employee of the EPA about the endless reasons that the government had to control, license, fee and fine the drilling of wells for water on private property.
I wanted to ask her how she thought the species had been able to survive digging wells for ten thousand years without the wisdom and control of the EPA but I knew that she'd been in the federal bureaucracy so long that she would not understand my question. She thinks and speaks in bureau cliches and is unable to move beyond them.
When you hire thousands of ambitious people who's job function and career success is to regulate, they will regulate well beyond any reasonable need for further regulation. It is their job and life work.