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The Elite and the Unwashed

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'To this day, one often hears pundits and establishment types in general talking as if we had a clear distinction between the elite, who know How Things Work, and the great unwashed who need to be led to elite wisdom. The reality, however, is nothing like this. It’s true that there are crank doctrines — goldbuggery, the Laffer curve,etc. — that play a substantial role in popular opinion but have no traction with the elite. But the elite itself has spent much of the past five years committed to economic doctrines — the prevalence of structural unemployment, the urgency of deficit reduction and entitlement reform, the destructive effects of “uncertainty” — that may not be quite as contrary to the evidence as fears of hyperinflation just around the corner, but are pretty bad. And the influence of these doctrines has remained almost unscathed even though this past year should have driven them completely out of respectable discussion.'