The Curmudgeon


Friday, November 08, 2019

Yet Again, the Experts Horn In

Among the unspoken glories of our forthcoming Remember Who Won Sunday will be the foiling of Operation Bernhard, a shabby Nazi plot intended to foreignise the British five-pound note and cause the collapse of our robust Conservative Lend-Lease economy. Mere scientists, who always seem to get the wrong end of the stick in these matters, are threatening to involve themselves in a similar shabby plot to undermine plucky entrepreneurs dealing in rhinoceros horn. According to a rather Teutonically-named professor at Oxford university, economists believe that the price of rhino horn would drop if the market could be flooded with fakes, so the boffins have created a horse-hair forgery in the hope of removing the incentive to poach. Typically, other economists have betrayed the unanimity that is so necessary to democratic progress by claiming that the presence of fake rhino horns will simply increase demand for the real thing; while other scientists have complicated the issue yet further by trying to bio-engineer the rhino horn equivalent of a cultured pearl. So confused has the situation become that some people are advocating actual enforcement of the law and, if you please, "long-term consumer behavioural change interventions," which appears to translate into Standard English as education, and may even imply a blasphemy against choice and the free market.


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