In this Detroit News op-ed, Hillsdale College economics professor Gary Wolfram ruminates on one of our deepest problems, namely that many Americans have no idea how our economy works, and thus no idea how much damage has been done (with more to come) from government policies that interfere with the free market’s incentives and allocation of resources.

As Frederic Bastiat pointed out in 1849, most people never think about opportunity costs — the things that would have been purchased or produced if it hadn’t been for the decision to do something else. That is especially important with regard to the coercive acts of government and statists take advantage of that blind spot in every election.