I cannot tell you how many loved ones I have lost to this totally preventable illness…
I would like to tell you about a serious condition afflicting thousands of policy analysts. It’s called Petty Little Dictator Disorder, or PLDD, and you or someone you love could be suffering from this epidemic sweeping through our think tanks, advocacy groups, and government offices. According to the description pending for inclusion in the DSM V, here are the warning signs of PLDD:
- Do you spend a fair amount of your time imagining how the government could be used to shape people’s behavior for their own good?
- Do you tell yourself and others that you believe in liberty and stuff but there are negative externalities, information costs, and children who need protecting from their parents, so we need to step in?
- Do you use the word “we” a lot to refer to government action by which you really mean you and your friends?
- Do you consider yourself an expert despite having never really done anything or rigorously studied anything in your life?
- Do you feel the need to communicate your expert opinions in no more than 140 characters more than 1,000 times a year because you need constant reinforcement in the belief that you are changing the world?
- Do you sit in cafes or bars with your colleagues and have conversations that resemble dorm room pot-smoking bull sessions about how it would be best for families to live in apartments above bodegas with the sound of light rail roaring just outside their window because, after all, the life you currently have and enjoy is the same thing that families with three children and a dog should want?
- Do you think science or a panel of experts can identify the right way to do almost anything?