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Walter Williams
Walter E. Williams
19 Nov 2014
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Scholar-Athlete Charade

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Elite Contempt for Ordinary Americans

Comment

Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and paid architect of Obamacare, has shocked and disgusted many Americans. In 2013, he explained to a University of Pennsylvania audience: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies." He added that the "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage." Most insulting were his previous statements that "the American voter is too stupid to understand" and his boast of Obamacare's "exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter."

We recall that back in 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." That comment was just as insightful as her response to a CNSNews.com reporter who asked, "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" Unable to respond intelligently, Speaker Pelosi gave her best political response: "Are you serious? Are you serious?" When asked recently about Gruber, Pelosi said: "I don't know who he is. He didn't help write our bill." She was quickly caught in a lie because during the 2009 health care debate, she mentioned Gruber's analysis at a news conference.

One little-noticed feature of Gruber's speeches was the type of place where he felt comfortable talking about the use of deception and mocking American intelligence. His speeches took place at the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rhode Island. Universities are home to the academic elite — people who believe they have more intelligence than and superior wisdom to the masses. They believe they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Gruber and his fellow academic elite have what they consider to be good reasons for restricting the freedom of others. But every tyrant who has ever lived has had what he considered good reasons.

America's elite found on university campuses, in news media and in political office are chief supporters of reduced private property rights and reduced rights to profits, and they are anti-competition and pro-monopoly.

They are pro-control and coercion by the state. Their plan requires the elimination or attenuation of the free market and what is implied by it — voluntary exchange. Their reasoning is simple. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do. Therefore, tyrants want to replace the market and voluntary exchange with economic planning. Economic planning is nothing more than the forcible superseding of other people's plans by the powerful elite backed up by the brute force of government.

In a 1991 speech, Yale University President Benno Schmidt warned: "The most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind." I watched the videos of Gruber's speeches. Academics raised little concern as to either the dishonesty of Obamacare or the claim that Americans were too stupid to understand.

A study by my George Mason University colleague Daniel B. Klein, along with Charlotta Stern of the Swedish Institute for Social Research, titled "Professors and Their Politics: The Policy Views of Social Scientists" (http://tinyurl.com/qxne3db) concluded: "The academic social sciences are pretty much a one-party system. Were the Democratic tent broad, the one-party system might have intellectual diversity. But the data show almost no diversity of opinion among the Democratic professors when it comes to the regulatory, redistributive state: they like it. Especially when it comes to the minimum wage, workplace-safety regulation, pharmaceutical regulation, environmental regulation, discrimination regulation, gun control, income redistribution, and public schooling."

Focusing only on Professor Gruber's arrogance, we ignore the more important fact that he is highly representative of the academic mindset — the people who are brainwashing our youngsters.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

2 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... You seem to presume in your article that ordinary Americans don't think other Americans are stupid, I have dragged ass through many a traffice jamb caused primarily by human stupidity, but what you got is what you got to deal with. To be in a car with some one verbalizing the whole stupidity of human kind exemplified by the stupidity of the idiots who cause such backups, and calling down the curse of the heavens upon them is perhaps the likely experience in most of the auto's on the road. Who in the privacy of their auto is likely to suffer fools in silence?
I don't think I have ever met a single person who did not think they were smarter than anyone in government. I never met a Baptist that didn't think they were smarter than all the rest of Chrisendom. I have never met an uneducated man who did not think himself smarter that any college professor or faculty. And I have seen many out right failures, and obvious dimwits say: I am not that stupid. Well; yes you are. Life is an intelligence test; and you failed. Would you like to try again?

Here is the problem of stupidity: Two percent never get it. Here is another problem: You cannot idiot proof life, love, politics, or economics. For every 98 percent of people running out of a burning building, 2 percent are running in, and not to save a life, but to rescue their cigarettes. The reason the stupidity of people has to be considered always is the fear they may stampede all the ignorant who are otherwise intelligent enough. This is not a problem of democracy because democracy demands that people know the truth so they can act on it.
We are not democratic, and the power of the government is predicated on the idea that the people are too stupid or uneducated to self govern. Since the people have no power, there is no reason to educate them, or give them the facts. When people have to guess the truth because they are denied the truth, they become dangerously volatile. Call them fickle, or murcurial, but people can see their own condition which is not improving, and left to guess the truth in any news, they can only guess upon their own condition and individual temperment. If today they switch republican, and tomorrow switch democrat; how long do you think it will be before they will see the end of both parties as the beginning of their salvation?

You can take no pleasure in the frustration of the people, or in their powerless state. It may be something quite small that sets them off. How many are mad as hell, and not going to take it any more? It doesn't mean you can't get people to take it anyway; but when the breaking point has been reached, the situation will snap free like a rubber band.
Everyone wants to say the democrats feel the people are stupid because of some idiot economists. I am inclined to believe many in the democratic party do believe the people are too stupid to know what is good for them, and this is certainly true. The republicans believe their supporters are stupid as well, and they make that fact obvious in the way they treat country people and farmers -because they count their votes as republican before cast, but deliver nothing to them for their vote. They burn the country, and the country gets in line for them on moral issues, and they are burned on those too.

I refuse to cover my insecurities with certainty. I only know what I know, and I recognize my limitations. Whether we call some one stupid, or are called stupid by them, there is likely truth on both ends. The problem isn't stupidity but the state of ignorance we must fight ourselves free of. If people know their society isn't working for them, they can presume it isn't working for many, or any. The greatness of democracy lies not in the ability to prevent mistakes, but in their correction. Now the mistakes in government are impossible to correct.
Look at your history. Slavery was a great mistake for this country. Was there ever any way short of civil war by which the people could correct that error? A 2/3s majority is as unlikely to day as then, and yet serious problems demand resolution. I think the people are smarter than the constitution, and that is smart enough to see their way around it.
It is all fraud you offer, Mr. Williams. I'm your friend, you know. We go way back. That democrat over there thinks you're as dum as dirt; but I think you are smart, and a lot smarter than any democrat. Sir; -If I had a car full of these democrat and republican children squabbling over who's the dummest- it would be all the excuse I needed to run at full speed into a bridge abutment. The world would certainly be a better and smarter place without those crash test dummies.
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:56 AM
Mr. Sweeney you do not disappoint. Long winded and much dribble.
Regards,
Comment: #2
Posted by: John Stiegelmeyer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:39 AM
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