ISSUE-112

Claim: Major policy decisions should always be left to politicians and other government experts.

Reason: Politicians and other government experts are more informed and thus have better judgment and perspective than do members of the general public.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.


In modern-day democracies, the ultimate power of the policy-makers come

from the people they vow to serve. Who should be responsible for making important policy decisions that could potentially impact the livelihood of millions of people? Some people assert that because government officials and politicians have more information and a better perspective than the general public, they will be able to make better decisions and hence should be responsible for making such decisions. While I concede to the argument that the public is less informed, it is untenable to claim that all major policy decisions should be made exclusively by politicians and government experts.

To begin with, it is true that the government experts and the politicians can have more

access to information than the general public. On the one hand, the information the general public pays attention to is highly geographically dependent. On the other hand, governments have different agencies specialized at information gathering and analysis, which make the policy makers more informed. Let’s imagine an ordinary person living in the United States. He or she will understandably be more concerned about the news surrounding the State or city he or she lives in than the news about the trade disputes between China and the USA. Clearly, on issues related to the trade war, experts and politicians shall have better judgment. As a result, I agree the underlying reason of the proposal that experts and government officials are more informed.

However, the lines of reasoning above do not justify the proposal that all major decisions

should be left to politicians and experts. To understand why, I would like to point out one of the fundamental assumptions: politicians and experts will make use the best of their judgment on the basis of available information to reach the best decision. This very assumption, however, is unwarranted. Instead, I venture to argue that there is a tendency for politicians to retain power, and hence their decisions are likely based on the prospect of attracting the most voters. A case in point is the current President of the United State, Donald J. Trump, who downplays the severity of the novel coronavirus. Fully knowing the lethal and contagious

nature of this disease that currently has no vaccine, President Trump in early March did not take proper precautions to prevent the spread of the disease for the reason that panicking may lead to massive stock crash. That scenario would greatly jeopardize his re-election bid. As a result, important decisions cannot be always left to the people inside the government since they could have ulterior motives.


To summarize, I do acknowledge that the existence of various government agencies keep experts and politicians much better informed, but this reason alone in my opinion is not sufficient to support the claim that politicians should make all the important decisions because by doing so politicians may act for their own personal gains and interest instead of those of the public.


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