Democratic Presidential hopeful Joe Biden is only the most high-profile politician to promise voters that he will “listen to the scientists,” mandate masks, and shut down the economy again if they so advise.
Even the humble members of the city council of Milledgeville, Georgia invoke “science” in four pages of “whereas-es” designed to justify a largely toothless mask mandate that directly contradicts a Georgia law against wearing masks in public (except for certain holidays, presumably to deter real crime) and the enforcement of which in some places in the city of 50,000 apparently hinges on the font size of a door notice.
Strange times indeed, these. One wonders why we need to elect politicians at all if they will simply defer to “the” scientists. Ah, but there be the rub. Which scientists? They don’t agree on much, especially when it comes to the novel coronavirus and masks and such. (Just look at the litany of articles on the AIER website chronicling the dissents!)
Should we listen only to “the” scientists on the government payroll? But then wouldn’t they essentially be unelected, unaccountable dictators? That sounds vaguely undemocratic.
Sticky, this wicket!
Plus, last time I checked, “the” scientists have no policy expertise in economics. Perhaps that does not matter as many economists also have no policy expertise in economics. Is that the role of politicians, then? To decide which type of scientists get to dictate in different policy areas? Perhaps Biden will listen to “the” economists on spaceship design or military tactics? I would pay good money to see that! (Seriously, it would be a horribly expensive boondoggle certain to raise my taxes.)
Why is it so important to “listen to the scientists” anyway? Are they suddenly less fallible than previously? Is there any science to support that belief? Because let’s face it, “the” scientists have a pretty poor track record overall.
Did you know that “the” scientists once believed:
That the earth is a flat disk, not a sphere, and that it resides at the center of the solar system and even the entire universe.