He shares a great quote from Walter Lippmann, communicating a very important idea:
UPDATE: I want to head off a bad response that I'm sure many will be tempted to make. While I'm a free market economist, government obviously holds more legitimacy for me than it does for Boettke. I often hear that I'm the one that thinks I can plan things because I think government has an appropriate role in this or that. This seems like very poor reasoning to me. Let's start with government itself. If you think that government is a thinker sitting in his study planning society then you have no idea how government works. Government is about exchange, just like the market economy is - only it is exchange between political and bureaucratic actors without a price as a coordinating mechanism (which is why we don't like it for most allocation decisions - particularly allocation decisions where we value efficiency). This exchange occurs within a constitutional context that sets the "rules of the game", and the constitutional context exerts a powerful influence on the results of the political exchange process. Our constitution also allows for regular intervention by voters as well, to discipline and guide policymakers. The only real case I can think of that's analagous to a thinker sitting in his study is the nine Supreme Court justices, which is precisely why it's so important for them to be above reproach in their dedication to the law. So the constant refrain "but you're the one that's OK with government" just doesn't work. Now - whether our constitutional or institutional framework is a good one is a reasonable question. But the point is, the political order emerges as well. No thinker sat in his study and designed our political system. We have had open and flexible rule/constituion-making that has generated an extremely robust decentralized polity that seems to focus on what most of us consider to be the right stuff (public goods, externalities, social insurance, and egalitarian issues). Those two things are not unrelated. It's because we have institutions in the liberal tradition that we get results consistent with the liberal tradition. But the point here is, nobody planned the political system we have today and nobody in the political system plans what the government does. In contrast, lots of libertarian bloggers do sit in their studies and plan what they think the ideal alternative would be.
I'm not smart enought to do that, but I do think I'm smart enough to propose tweaks here and there that will hopefully work out.
Nothing to see here, move along!
14 minutes ago