Perhaps the most important conservative insight being depreciated is the durable warning from free-marketeers that government programs often fail to yield what their architects intend. Democrats have been busy expanding, enacting or proposing major state interventions in financial markets, energy and health care. Supporters of such efforts want to ensure that key decisions will be made in the public interest and be informed, for example, by sound science, the best new medical research or prudent standards of private-sector competition. But public-choice economists have long warned that when decisions are made in large, centralized government programs, political priorities almost always trump other goals.
Even liberals should think twice about the prospect of decisions on innovative surgeries, light bulbs and carbon quotas being directed by legislators grandstanding for the cameras. Of course, thinking twice would be easier if more of them were listening to conservatives at all.So happens that this morning I attended a business-group meeting during which a local dental practitioner--Harvard-educated--mentioned exactly that syndrome. It had to do with a new and better methodology for a segment of dental practice, which the FDA guy simply blew off because he 'heard that the [other] method was better.'
The FDA guy was a political appointee and really was not well-acquainted with the technology, nor the particular solution.