We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
They do ignore incentives — the constant complaints about taxes that aren’t sufficiently punitive is a good example — but it’s not a failure to “understand”.
The left ignores incentives because they seek to impose their will on people. Saying they don’t “understand” implies that if only they could be enlightened they would probably agree with us, because we share common notives about what is good. Not the case at all.
Scott is great but he’s woefully naive about Progressivism.
Authoritarians don't care about people's incentives because they don't care about people as a whole.
When decade after decade a government program worsens the condition it was supposedly intended to cure, authoritarians never apologize or change direction. They just take more power then use that power to implement additional programs again with no regard to their actual efficacy.
That's because these programs are in reality highly effective once one understands that their desired effect is to gain yet more power.
The fundamental difference between "progressives" and "conservatives" is progressives believe that people are naturally good. Conservatives believe that people are naturally bad.
The second viewpoint is the Biblical one and the way our whole government system and checks and balances works as envisioned by the Framers, to curb the power of those whose bad nature would otherwise be enhanced.
A fundamental flaw of Communism as practiced everywhere (past, present, future) is the complete failure to take into account human nature. The Left (writ large) suffers from the same fatal flaw in its reasoning, world view, and policy prescriptions.