Very good quotations, first from Brink Lindsey:
The fundamental problem is that equating order with top-down control retains a powerful intuitive appeal. Despite the obvious successes of unplanned markets, despite the spectacular rise of the Internet’s decentralized order, and despite the well-publicized new science of “complexity” and its study of self-organizing systems, it is still widely assumed that the only alternative to central authority is chaos…. Consequently, whenever some issue becomes a matter of public concern, there is inevitably strong pressure to impose some top-down mandate or create a new bureaucracy to manage the problem. Meanwhile, those who resist such centralized policy responses are routinely castigated for their callous disregard of the issue.
Then Don Boudreaux piles on:
In other words, very many people – nearly everyone on the political left, yet plenty also on the political right – remain creationists. They continue to fail to grasp the nuances, deep meaning, and full implications of the science of spontaneous order that first flowered among scholars in 18th-century Scotland.
It’s human nature, I fear. You can’t just think by putting ‘the right people’ in charge it will change. Far too often our solutions are worse than the problems they seek to solve. yet the ones mucking it up assume the sanctimonious mantle of ‘caring’.
On a related aspect of economic ignorance, here is Steven Landsburg brutally dissecting a reporter who conveniently cites Pigou without even a nod to Coase., the Einstein to Pigou’s Newton.