I hope like hell this isn’t a revelation: ignorance is blissful only for the ignorant. Ignorance is expensive as hell for everyone else.
Ignorance is caused by lack of information. Willful ignorance is a refusal to accept information that would cure the ignorance. Stupidity, on the other hand, is just that — stupidity. It’s deep-seated dopiness; dim-wittedness on steroids.
There’s less hope for the stupid than the ignorant. In theory, one can inform the ignorant. The stupid… they’re too stupid to learn anything. That’s a big part of their problem. It’s why they’re stupid.
Though many, many stupid people are ignorant, a stupid person can’t ever be willfully ignorant. Stupid people — where their stupidity is concerned — have no choice about being stupid whereas willfully ignorant people… well, there’s the “willful” part — the deliberation. Willful ignorance is a choice. And — as ample evidence proves — ignorance (willful or otherwise) costs a bomb. In money. In lives. In prestige. In decency.
Now, while I pity most stupid people (it’s not their fault they’re stupid), there is one group of the stupid who I despise. They’re the people whose stupidity was caused by greed.
Greed – the data is pretty uniform on this – makes everyone stupid.
While taxing the ignorant may seem cruel, it’s really the only way to motivate them to fix their problem. And all they have to do to fix their problem? Learn something. Cure the ignorance with good information.
It’s a little like using light to ‘fix” a darkness problem. And when you finally get the lights back on? Bet the ranch you’ll find an ignorant person sitting there – unaware they didn’t have to sit in the dark.
End of the day? I bet the ignorant will thank us for, in effect, taxing the ignorance right out of them. Then we can set our sights on the stupid.