When captains of industry and billionaires offer pronouncements on public policy, their opinions often receive attention out of proportion to their merits. These wise sages must know what they’re talking about, mainstream media pundits argue. After all, they’ve succeeded financially far beyond the rest of us. The same skills that brought them wealth ought to be applicable to public policy, right?
To the contrary.
The acquisition of wealth demonstrates the exercise of skill, perseverance, and perhaps a tad of good fortune. It means that the achiever has a very deep, but narrow knowledge in one area of business endeavor.
Buffet, a savvy investor whose net worth is estimated in the vicinity of $45 billion, tells us that the wealthy should pay more in taxes. But as Tim Carney and Dan Mitchell point out, his knowledge may be deep, but it’s narrow to the point of parochialism.
You can read the rest of this article at Broadside Books' Line of Fire here.