Could Forrest Gump Plan Our Economy?

July 24, 2014

Could Forrest Gump Plan Our Economy?

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

No one of sound mind would ever entrust the enormously complex U.S. economy to a small group of leaders who collectively possess the intellect of Forrest Gump. But can an assemblage of genius-level central planners really bring us any closer to “utopia” than a much less intelligent group of dopes?

President Obama, Paul Krugman, Democrats, and the mainstream media all believe in a top-down approach to government, where economic activity is “fairly” dictated by a handful of “best and brightest” elites. They believe that the “average” citizen isn’t smart enough to make the “correct” decisions with regard to something as “complicated” as the economy.

Economists such as Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell would point out that the decisions necessary to run the U.S. economy (or any economy, for that matter) are so numerous and so complex that the combined intelligence of even the smartest thousand individuals falls incredibly short of what would be needed to undertake such a task.

I wanted to see how this would look on paper, so I created two charts to help to contrast the differences, if any, between these two schools of thought. In chart one, the first group uses the fictional character Forrest Gump, who had an IQ of only 76, and is composed of 1,000 individuals with that same level of IQ. The second group comprises genius-level individuals — Nobel Prize laureates such as Paul Krugman. Not knowing Krugman’s IQ, I’m really giving him the benefit of the doubt by placing him in a group with 999 other geniuses and giving them an estimated average IQ of 154 (notice I didn’t include Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Chris Matthews, or even Bill Maher in this group):

There is a very clear definition between the Gump and Krugman groups, which leaves no doubt as to which is the more intelligent. But let’s introduce a third group into the mix, the free market, which comprises the entire U.S. population (where even an infant knows best which jar of mush it prefers to eat) with an average IQ of 98. Let’s see how these three groups stack up against each other in combined brainpower:

It’s clear from the second chart that the group with the IQ of Forrest Gump has nowhere near the brainpower necessary to run our economy. But in the movie, Gump sure did seem to flourish in the free-market system. And he certainly didn’t whine about life not being “fair,” like Obama so often does. Perhaps a sequel should be made with Gump trying to survive in North Korea for contrast?

Looking at the Krugman group, it’s clear that when compared to the collective brainpower of the U.S. population, the former don’t possess nearly enough intelligence. So why should we place our trust in these elites? Bill Whittle explains the reason why we shouldn’t in a way that even Gump would understand during the second video from his must-watch What We Believe series.

Of course, the Krugman, et al. elites will still find it necessary to point out how much smarter they are than the Gump group. But at the scale on the second chart, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the geniuses and the dopes using the unaided eye. I don’t want these geniuses to feel too terrible about their intellect, so to help them attempt to prove the relevance they provide to the free market, I’d like to offer this simple tool:

The left would have us believe that society can function at its optimum level only through their brilliant dictates. The truth is that they wouldn’t be able handle the complex nuances of coordinating children’s sack lunches on a national scale, let alone control the rest of the economy. In fact, according to Milton Friedman, these elites would have a hard time making a pencil (especially without public funds) to save their lives.

The stupidity of these brilliant elites lies in their not recognizing that they can’t change human nature and that the highest possible standard of living comes from the collective brilliance and power of the free market. Then again, maybe they do understand…

History has proven that without trusting and utilizing the collective intelligence of the free market, you end up with collective misery for all except the elites who are pulling the strings. Maybe these elites aren’t so stupid after all? It seems they’ve found an easy way to loot all of life’s “finest chocolates” right out of someone else’s box.


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