Noah Smith: Experts lie to the American public – about free trade being good for everyone, and about mask-wearing early in the pandemic – and that’s how you get Donald Trump and Qanon. The experts mean well, they just think the public can’t handle the truth.
Economists say free trade will benefit everyone, but in reality there are winners and losers. Some people, like American factory workers, are hurt very badly, and never recover. Economists believe the overall benefit far outweighs the harm, but they don’t talk about that in public.
Experts “aren’t experts on the topic of when to lie.”