Tyler Cowen: "Would You Rather be Ruled by the People or the Experts?"
January 14, 2017, 08:54 AM
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At Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen writes:
Would you rather be ruled by the people or the experts?

by Tyler Cowen on January 13, 2017 at 9:54 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Law, Philosophy, Political Science | Permalink

In my latest Bloomberg column I consider William F. Buckley’s old conundrum:

William F. Buckley famously said he would rather be ruled by the first 2,000 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than by the faculty of Harvard University.
Here is part of my take:
For better or worse, direct rule by Buckley’s 2,000 American citizens probably would mean a slower pace of immigration, less emphasis on free trade, more law and order politics, and a blunter form of nationalism in foreign policy.

Those don’t match my policy preferences (I am more of a globalist, and also a professional academic), but I fear what the Harvard faculty could bring. I can imagine an America closer to Bernie Sanders’s vision, with single-payer health insurance, levels of taxation exceeding 50 percent of GDP, levels of immigration unsustainable with a large welfare state, too many aggressive attempts to legislate equal treatment for various groups, excessive fondness for a universal basic income, and too many humanitarian interventions abroad.

One interesting conundrum is that the Harvard higher-ups haven’t been all that enthusiastic about admitting more undergraduates. While Harvard professors may support mass immigration for you and me, they haven’t done much to support dropping the average SAT of freshmen by 20 points in order to confer the Harvard brand upon more people.

Similarly, having grown up on the wrong side of the hills from Beverly Hills and Malibu, I haven’t noticed that the voters of Beverly Hills and Malibu are hugely enthusiastic about letting in more newcomers. Of course, residence in Beverly Hills and Malibu aren’t just tests of IQ: good looks and animal cunning play a role, too.

So, I was trying to think of a high IQ municipality and I came up with Evanston, IL, home of Northwestern U., which I used to live a few miles south of. Evanston is apparently pretty enthusiastic about massive immigration into the United States. Evanstonians voted 88% for Hillary.

Yet, is Evanston enthusiastic about mass immigration by, say, fellow Americans, such as, says, Chicagoans?

Nah. Evanston’s population is down roughly 5,000 since 1970.

[Comment at Unz.com]