Facebook Hearing: Congress Can’t Manage Every Aspect of Society and it Shouldn’t Even Try

The Senate committee members’ grilling of Zuckerberg put on full display what seems intuitive: that there is no way a legislative body can have adequate knowledge to manage every element of a society of 325,000,000 people (let alone the entire world).

These people are comparably ignorant of any particular issue or “policy area” that comes to mind: management of federal lands, the economy for agricultural products, the effect of illegal immigration on rural Texas towns, the Constitution’s implications concerning private firearms ownership, funding of urban schools, welfare’s effects on family formation, the consequences of easy access to capital for college funding….

I’m not knocking the particular people who are members of Congress. So far as I can tell, they are on median about as impressive as one would hope two bodies so constituted would be. The problem is inevitable: there is no way any individual can know everything. The implications are obvious: a legislative body shouldn’t try to run everything.

The PPACA was sold, according to President Obama’s aide Prof. Jonathan Gruber, using an ad campaign based on “the stupidity of the American voter.” John McCain, one of the chief advocates of perpetual American military intervention in the Arab world, had to have explained to him a decade after 9/11 what the difference was between Sunni and Shia Islam. And so on.

The only sensible response to this situation is to reduce government’s reach drastically. The bad results we’ve come to expect from government are inevitable. Next time you have an impulse to involve government in something, go to YouTube and watch those senators pose their Facebook-ignorant queries to Mark Zuckerberg. That’s what you get.

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