by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Maybe “Gruberism,” “the eponymous doctrine first enunciated by MIT economics Professor Jonathan Gruber (1965 – ) that holds that the mass of people in advanced democratic societies are functionally incapable of ascertaining their own interest, and that the public good is accordingly best achieved by a process in which a credentialed elite devises the best policies and then seeks to achieve public support for them by deception and lies” needs its own Wikipedia entry. If so, James Ceaser has nailed it. His suggestion, published at National Review, concludes this way:
There is a final interpretation of the meaning of Gruberism that ignores the official doctrine and focuses instead on the events surrounding its presentation. By this account the essence of Gruberism is associated with the foolishness of its originator, Jonathan Gruber. If Gruberism was to make the inroads that Grubber hoped for, its teachings should only have been revealed in secret. Yet whether from ignorance of the first lessons of politics or from the vanity of soliciting adulation from academic audiences, Gruber publicly spelled out every aspect of the doctrine. The inevitable result was that all of the followers of the doctrine, including the Gruber in chief, were compelled to disown it. [National Review, November 21]
Yet the only reason Gruber had to disown the idea is that a Philadelphia investment adviser got upset about his insurance rates rising and began watching hours and hours of Gruber videos. Thanks to Rich Weinstein, Gruber’s statements are public knowledge and a note about the comments has made its way onto Gruber’s Wikipedia page. So why not give “Gruberism”—which is clearly more important than the man’s biography—its own entry? The term should be preserved as a reminder of the dangerous world view that drives so many elites.