George Mason University economics professor Garett Jones argues for a ‘10% reduction’ in democracy and return of ‘rule by the knowers’ for better government.
“Democracies have important downsides that are underappreciated”
– Garret Jones, GMU Economics professor
He’s not the first to make this argument, but on Feb. 24 he was able to make his case to Mason students, among other things–
- graph-filled PowerPoint presentation (check)
- D.C. monument reference (check)
- jabs at the flaws of social media (check)
- pizza intermission (check)
“A lot of us have an automatic reaction to say ‘more democracy is better,'” Alec Schwengler, vice president of the host organization, GMU Economics Society“But there are certain situations where voters wouldn’t make good decisions, like monetary policy, where we let the Federal Reserve make decisons insulated from voter input.”
- Increase term for House Representatives from 2-year to 6-year, to incentivize “politicians focusing on long-run” policy.
- Reform more agencies to function like the Fed: “14-year terms, autonomous budgets, act more independently of politicians.
- Increase appointed positions and decrease elected positions.
If these reforms were to take place, it would further distance voters from policy makers establishing a quasi-epistocracy, what Jones characterized as “rule by the knowers.”
To some, this may seem backward, against the principles of the American democracy, but Jones argues that such reforms are a fresh approach to modern economic policy. An approach that the GMU Economics Society is vital to understand the multidimensional nature of the discipline.
“The [GMU Economics Society] likes to host events that present new and different perspectives than what students are used to hearing because it gets students talking about things in a way they may not usually,” Schwengler said. “By having this discussion about the limits of democracy, we hope to get students talking about what the most efficient way to choose public policy is.”
Listen to the whole event audio here.