I think it is fair to say that my free-market views are more extreme than most. Non-economists do not appreciate how well markets work. Most other economists do not, in my opinion, appreciate how poorly government works.

Naturally, I expend great effort trying to articulate my outlier views and to sell them to others. But sometimes one can have doubts about that effort.

1. Hansonian doubts. If I am such an outlier, why does that not make me wrong?

2. Cowenian doubts. Just because I believe something, why do I wish others to believe it? Maybe I am better off if others believe something that I regard as false. (I believe that when Cowen uses the term “Straussian” he means something like “keeping ideas obscure in order to limit their spread.”)

Maybe if everybody believed that we would be better off with competitive government instead of democracy we would lose a lot of social capital.