A Public Choice Moment

Like many people in the last few weeks, I have given into the temptation to make jokes or listen to jokes about Anthony Weiner. He has the perfect name, and the perfect story, to give rise (oh, there I go again) to those jokes. One my wife made up unintentionally, when she woke up Thursday, opened her computer, and read that Weiner was resigning, was “His goose is cooked.”

But there’s a bigger lesson here that is unlikely to be learned by many people and it’s this: it’s not a good idea to put important decisions about our lives in the hands of politicians. They don’t have the expertise, they don’t have the knowledge, and they don’t have the incentive to make good decisions for us. Other than that, Mrs. Astor, how was our trip across the Atlantic?

One thing we learned from watching Weiner is how narcissistic he is. But be around politicians very much and you will find that, although he’s extreme for his ilk, he’s not as extreme as you might have thought. Politicians often start believing in their own invincibility. Are we really supposed to think that they don’t also believe that they know enough to solve our problems?