I enjoy articles on economics. The first thing I attempt to determine however is the writer’s starting point.
If a writer starts from the premise that “government planners” can successfully control the allocation of scarce resources better than free markets, then I know that the author isn’t living in reality. He instead lives in a daycare world. His “finish”, no matter how sophisticated his thinking, can be summed up as all us children nicely sharing our little resources like Tonka Toys. Of course those who write from this perspective see themselves as the grownup women watching over us selfish children and our resources with a keen eye on who gets to play with what.
Many “economists” still live in such a world. Because resources like, say, food, simply appeared on their tables at dinner time, and cars appeared in their driveways at 16, and a full government or daddy-funded education just appeared, seemingly from nothing, experience has conditioned them to feel that resources simply appear from nothing and the driving question then is not how to create more but rather how can what already exist be fairly distributed. That homes, medical care, education, or food are not a right that can be guaranteed by one man to another is utterly unfathomable to those who start with such thinking. Such starting points determine the finish; though like all Utopian dreams, that finish must ever be in the future requiring patience from those who suffer interminably from the inevitable hardships that come with them.
On the other hand, writers whose starting point is the realization that resources are the result of risk, work, and production, not to mention human factors such as self-interest and motivation, are much more trustworthy. Good thinking must necessarily be aligned with reality.
As for me, I’m much more confident in the economics of one whose thinking was forged in making payroll and successfully competing for business in a hostile world while simultaneously thwarting greedy lawyers, and power-hungry politicians and their bureaucrat dogs. I’m much more inclined to think this person’s economics more insightful than those of tenured theorizers whose circumstances insulate them from the consequences of their stupid “ideas”.