Kevin Williamson, Nobody knows how to make a pencil, or a health care system, National Review, May 20, 2013:
The problem of politics is the problem of knowledge. The superiority of market processes to political processes is not in origin moral but technical. The useful knowledge in any modern society is distributed rather than centralized — and, as modern scholars of complexity studies confirm, there is no way to centralize it.
They [governments, politicians, bureaucrats] fail because they attempt to substitute a single brain, or a relatively small panel of brains organized into a bureaucracy, for the collective cognitive firepower of millions or billions of people. Put simply, they attempt to manage systems that are too complex for them to understand. Complexity is humbling, but politics is immune to humility.
Washington is not only full of people who do not know what they are talking about, it is full of people who do not know that they do not know what they are talking about.