It’s possibly true that Mike Pence doesn’t have the deep scientific education that we’d want from a coronavirus Tsar. The list of his medical degrees is, after all, quite short. This doesn’t justify Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s attack on the idea though:
If you were in search of a scientifically minded, steadying presence to guide the country through the potential fallout of the coronavirus, you could not do much worse than Vice-President Mike Pence. This being the Donald Trump administration, however, where qualifications and expertise are often seen as prohibitive factors for top jobs, that’s exactly who we’ve been given.
Cutting to the heart of the matter with her characteristic bluntness, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez this week pointed out the absurdity of placing Pence in charge of a potentially looming health crisis.
Her argument is that we shouldn’t be putting the ignorant in charge of things. Fair enough.
But then that’s the entire definition of political power isn’t it? That the ignorant – those chosen by their ability to harvest votes and by that ability only – get put in charge of things. There is no rational world in which Maxine Waters gets to run parts of the financial system for example. Or rather, no rational system of testing for competence which does so.
Similarly, competence would not lead us to AOC running the response to climate change. Sure, she’s got an economics degree but she woefully misunderstands the economics of this particular subject. Which, as the Stern Review has told us, means that we do not use government to plan matters. Assuming the problem does indeed exist we need to have the one and only one lever jammed into the price system and then allow the economy to chew through the problem.
As another example, Bernie doesn’t understand financial markets in the slightest. Politics might allow him to impose that entirely counter-productive Wall Street Tax – the opposite of what any testing for ability of knowledge would allow.
Assume AOC’s right, that Mike Pence is an ignoramus on matters pandemic. That’s just a demonstration of the manner that politics and politicians shouldn’t have power, isn’t it? At which point mine’s a beer love. In the bottle. Wouldn’t want to tax your known and demonstrated skills too much.