kodak2004: (Default)
[personal profile] kodak2004
..It’s not clear if the weathermen considered the compromise alternative of letting people know the real forecast with an appropriate warning: “There will be seven inches of sleet and ice rather than 24 inches of snow, but that can be even more dangerous.” If they did it was apparently rejected as insufficiently protective of public safety. In any event, officials deliberately misled the public on the belief that people cannot be trusted to take care of themselves, even with accurate information. They undermined their own public-safety goals by making it less likely that anyone will listen to them when the next big blizzard comes calling. And they increased the danger to those in disfavored rural areas who were misled into expecting a smaller storm.

Their action epitomizes the problems of the modern liberal administrative state: arrogation of policy decisions by unelected bureaucrats, counterproductiveness, regional and class snobbery, and a stultifying infantilization of the public. The Weather Service misled not just the citizenry but their elected leaders—governors, mayors, even the president they report to. There may be certain emergency situations that justify the government lying to the people “for their own good.” But the decision to do so should be made by officials who can then be voted out of office if the people who were lied to decide that the judgment wasn’t justified, not by unelected civil-service bureaucrats. There is no indication that the Weather Service cleared its decision to withhold information up the chain of command with the Secretary of the Interior or with the White House..

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