by Dan Mitchell
Having written more than 5000 columns over the past ten-plus years, I’ve learned that policy analysis doesn’t “go viral.”
But I got a small taste of what that would be like when I shared an image in 2016 showing that the right kind of class warfare pits productive people (earners, entrepreneurs, and protectors) against looters (predators, cronies, and rent-seekers).
In other words, rich vs poor is the wrong way to divide society.
Today, I have another image that also has a very powerful message. I don’t know if it will go viral, but it has a very appropriate and accurate message.
For instance, America is now dealing with a lot of controversy regarding occasional police misbehavior and sometimes-violent protests, but it’s hopefully accurate to say that most cops and most protestors are good people
And the same is true for clergy and doctors, even though both groups have a few bad apples.
But notice the group at the bottom.
In part, this image is designed for humorous purposes (and it’s always fun to mock politicians).
But there’s also a serious point. Why are there so many bad and corrupt people in government? There are two possible explanations.
- Shallow, insecure, and power-hungry people are drawn to politics because they want to control the lives of others.
- Good people run for political office, but then slowly but surely get corrupted because of “public choice” incentives.
Needless to say, it’s possible for both answers to be partially accurate.
Daniel J. Mitchell is a public policy economist in Washington. He’s been a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, an economist for Senator Bob Packwood and the Senate Finance Committee, and a Director of Tax and Budget Policy at Citizens for a Sound Economy. His articles can be found in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and Washington Times. Mitchell holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Original article can be viewed here.
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