Campaigns/Elections

A Hayekian Response to that Last Debate Question

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Nice:

Peggy from New Hampshire. Thank you for a great question that does honor to your state's motto "Live free or die". Peggy, in this moment of national crisis all eyes are on the two candidates for the presidency, and tonight we have been sparring to the best of our oratorical abilities. In a few months, one of us will have the most powerful government on earth at his fingertips. And yet the president is still just one person. With the knowledge of a single individual. What I won't know is what every single one of you knows and the complexity of the implications that this distributed knowledge creates. One way for me to learn what you all know is to pay attention to the things you do, the activities you engage in, the relationships you form, the deals you are willing to strike. And I'll make sure that the levers I will be pulling don't interfere with your ability to communicate your precious knowledge to me.

Via Cafe Hayek.

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  1. this is kinda like 42. A great answer but

    What was the question?

  2. And the immediate response of 99% of America would be “Uh…what!?”

    Including me. I mean, I see what you’re getting at, Brian, but it’s not exactly a simple way of putting it, particularly for an oral response.

    Just sayin’.

  3. Nobody who talks like this, or thinks like this, has a chance in hell of getting elected president in my lifetime.

    But that would be SOOO great.

  4. But that would be SOOO great.

    Even better would be if a kid jumped up from the crowd and asked: “Can prices really do all that, Mister?”

    Prompting a Monorail-esque song and dance number.

  5. I don’t get it. Will there be a sketch on Saturday Night Live so I can finally understand?

  6. What is this? Rick Roll Naga Day? First Balko, now you Doherty!?!?!?

  7. If we’re doing dream questions and answers, I’d like to see:

    Q: “What’s your job as President?”

    A: “To stay the fuck out of the way.”

  8. Yup…you and me and the other 1000 free-marketers in America would applaud, and everyone else would go “Whut? He didn’t say anything about how he was going to give me free stuff and solve all my problems!” And then the papers would write editorials about how how this candidate is an egghead out of touch with real Americans. But oh, how we can dream.

  9. I’m really glad that I’m not the only one who didn’t (and doesn’t) know what this is supposed to mean.

    Coming from a politician, “I won’t know … what every single one of you knows and … One way for me to learn what you all know is to pay attention to the things you do, the activities you engage in, the relationships you form, the deals you are willing to strike” sounds like a threat of total surveillance.

  10. Q: “What’s your job as President?”

    A: “To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women.”

  11. Touche, Warty. Touche.

  12. Warty,

    That Genghis Khan–he knew how to get things done (the Conan quote comes from something the Mongol warlord posted on the web or something like that).

  13. As I started to drift off near the end of the debate, I was half convinced for a moment that this was an actual answer that one of the candidates gave. I had to ponder for a little bit, thinking “well, it would be more like McCain to cheezily quote a state’s motto, and I don’t think I could ever hear those words out of Obama’s mouth… but certainly McCain couldn’t have said that?!”

    Certain that my vote would go towards whoever said that, I clicked the link. And alas, neither of them did.

    Balls. Hope – dashed.

  14. Personally, I think that last question was so fundamentally stupid that there is no good answer for it. Why on earth was that even asked aloud?

  15. “Peggy, I don’t yet know how much free stuff you would like government to provide you. So to be safe I will offer as many things as I can think of, which will hopefully be more than my opponent.”

  16. Only a little o/t:

    Dow is down 645.62, or 6.97 percent, to 8,612.48

    Fuck, fuck, fuck.

  17. Warty – haha.

  18. Q: “What’s your job as President?”

    A: “To crush your enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women.”

    There, that sounds better. The “your” makes it sound kind of pander-y.

  19. Thank you for your excellent question, Peggy.

    My thought is that until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils,… nor, I think, will the human race.

  20. to plato:

    “Philosopher kings”??

    I think you misunderstand. may we hope for the day when men no longer seek philosopher kings.

    Why can’t we pray for presidents who aren’t that smart, not that connected, or that ambitious. Just a guy that does a good job, and doesn’t muck things up too bad.

    Pray that we have someone who doesn’t think he can solve everything with some enlightened decree.

    Pray for a president, who doesn’t imagine themselves king, and actually has a little faith in the world and people: a belief that things can organize themselves.

    Call me goofy!

  21. Because the tragedy of history is that people who seek power don’t deserve it.

  22. Pray for a president, who doesn’t imagine themselves king, and actually has a little faith in the world and people: a belief that things can organize themselves.

    Call me goofy!

    That is totally contrary to human nature. People will, as the Apostle Paul pointed out in his epistle to the Corinthians, tolerate any leadership, so long as it’s abusive.

  23. Matt:

    “That is totally contrary to human nature. People will, as the Apostle Paul pointed out in his epistle to the Corinthians, tolerate any leadership, so long as it’s abusive.”

    Not sure what you mean with that wording.

    I presume you mean people desire leadership even if it is bad. Just lead me and protect me!!

    That is a part of human nature but not all.

    When we feel threatened we have the option in our nature to acquiesce to even the guy trying to kill us.

    So I pray for a people that are willing to die for freedom, rather than live under tyranny. And that we seek not leaders to save us, but to just be just and able managers.

    It is possible. Though not for all people. Some peoples natures will go one way, others another.

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