Thomas Sowell

Senator Barack Obama clearly understands people's emotional needs and how to meet them. He wants to raise taxes on oil companies.

How that will get us more oil or lower the price of gasoline is a problem that can be left for economists to puzzle over. A politician's problem is how to get more votes-- and one of the most effective ways of doing that is to be a hero who will save us from the villains.

You have heard of the cavalry to the rescue. But have you ever heard of economists to the rescue?

While economists are talking supply and demand, politicians are talking compassion, "change" and being on the side of the angels-- and against drilling for our own oil.

Has any economist ever attracted the kinds of cheering crowds that Barack Obama has-- or even the crowds attracted by Hillary Clinton or John McCain?

If you want cheering crowds, don't bother to study economics. It will only hold you back. Tell people what they want to hear-- and they don't want to hear about supply and demand.

No, supply and demand is not too "complex." It is just not very emotionally satisfying.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate