Don Boudreaux Swings And Misses The Entire Point: Sovereignty

Over on Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux attacks Arizona’s policy, and in doing so, falls into the abyss of economic tyranny: the justification of economic outcome over freedom and sovereignty.

By demonizing immigrants, these politicians exploit voters’ misinformation about the economic consequences of the alleged devils.

My response was:


You’re confusing the priority of people’s perceptions of their economic consequences with the priority of people’s perception of their political and cultural sovereignty, as well as their perception of their associated status. These people [Arizonians] have been wronged. They have been wronged by a loss of sovereignty, and a reduction in cultural dominance, and wronged by an ongoing diminution of their status. And people will act far more passionately to defend their social position than they will to an abstract economic benefit. That was, and is, the entire reason behind nationalism. Or did you forget?

When the use of economic outcomes becomes the primary criteria that one uses to determine all policy, then the economist makes a fundamental error because he ignores the most important of ‘animal spirits’: status and sovereignty. And then the methods of economics become either a religion, or the error of intellectual myopia, or of intellectual vanity.

Otherwise, economic policies are the tools of tyranny, and the justification of tyranny.

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