Brancato on Hoover-Siegler

E. Frank Stephenson and Tim Worstall sharply criticize a fellow who may no longer be an economist but who plays one in the pages of the New York Times.

(And Big Arm Woman pans a recent speech by him: "I have never witnessed a professional academic with less public poise, ever. Seriously, I don't even remember what he was talking about, except that it obviously was geared toward policy wonks and not a lay audience, but I do remember the copious amount of sweat he produced while at the podium.")

Stephenson quotes him: "Moreover, it's neither fair nor realistic to expect ordinary citizens to have enough medical expertise to make life-or-death decisions about their own treatment."

Even leaving aside an important and proper thin-end-of-the-wedge argument--if people can't make decisions that they have the most powerful incentive in the world to make correctly, how can they be trusted to make any other decisions; shouldn't Experts make 'em all?--the arrogance of this statement is still staggering.

Here's devoutly hoping that folks like him never get a chance to affect our lives.

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