Paul Jacob

There is no mystery here. We know why the website has failed, and why the emerging problems inherent in “ObamaCare” are bound to lead to even greater failure.

Hubris. Pride. Incompetence.

The “incompetence” so far shown, and the lies that so often follow incompetence like so many ducklings following a quacking momma duck, both precede and follow from the pride.

What is that pride?

The pride of a “community organizer” who thinks that, because he has a Harvard Law degree, he can run a country. The pride of progressives in general, who think that going to college gives them all the information they need — and all the skills required — to set up vast business systems through thousands of pages of law and tens of thousands of regulations written in the capital.

Without skin in the game, they lack that ultimate check of the marketplace, the paying for their own mistakes. Perhaps that is why they don’t realize that much of economic life runs on information not found in textbooks or journal articles.

The knowledge required to succeed in a marketplace is knowledge of place and time and value. And alternates. Obscure costs. Things that cannot be simply regurgitated onto a chalkboard or placed into an equation.

Thus, at least half of the economics departments in the country don’t do much to dissuade the pride, the astounding hubris. They stoke it. Pretending that their models — whether arrayed on spreadsheets or entered vast databases or special computer programs, whether written in symbolic logic or managed in the multiple regressions of a statistical study — match reality is their particular delusion. And they end up feeding, not checking, the delusion of progressives, the bulk of whom know nothing of economics, even after several courses.

And so progressives continue to “criticize” business without understanding profit and loss; “regulate” business by mandating high-cost and irrelevant reporting systems; and tax the heck out of those who have succeeded, even as they themselves fail to understand what makes for success.

So of course progressives’ efforts to control the medical insurance industry, and “fix” our admittedly haywire medical-industrial complex, have spun out of control, and put in place even more haywire systems.

They don’t know what they are doing.


They don’t understand how businesses really work, and why government regulation and market controls backfire.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.