I have recently had the opportunity to attend various briefings given by key Michigan legislators and the governor. Although the topics being discussed where different, the mindset of the legislators was alarmingly similar.
The predominant mindset of the political class, regardless of party affiliation, is that they are smart enough to plan the future for Michigan residents on critical issues ranging from energy to health care. This attitude seems to get progressively worse the longer elected officials are in office. Perhaps this is a major reason most voters continue to support term limits despite the continual ranting from politicians that such limits destroy their ability to make government work.
While the intentions of these politicians may be noble, the outcome of their actions is fraught with broken promises and unintended consequences. When confronted with failed outcomes, politicians often seem oblivious to their attempts to control outcomes — just trust us we will get it right next time seems to be their common response.
The cure for this dilemma is abstinence. Politicians must first recognize that they are not smart enough to plan everyone’s future. The first step in the road to recovery is to adopt the principal of “do no more harm.” Whether the issue is spending taxpayer money on risky alternative energy projects or dictating the type of health care Americans must have, further intervention into the operation of free markets will only inflict more damage to the economy and continual loss of personal freedoms.
When voters choose candidates, they should look for ones who do not think they are smarter than the rest of us.