"... or going to cost quite a bit over market rate
No, it will cost exactly market rate. You clearly understand the basic dynamic yourself: if you raised your bid you would be able to "poach someone from another position," but at your current price sellers aren't interested. If we were talking about the analogous situation in the stock market, or the supermarket, you'd recognize the silliness of calling your low bid "market rate" and then complaining that the actual rate is "over" that.
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I'm concerned more about when experts are merely powerful people advancing their own best interests, which seems to come up peculiarly often. Granted, that is not the case here, and my example of deferring to Condoleezza Rice's foreign policy expertise is dramatic.
Even so, the political question of whether or not we should force parents to vaccinate their children is not a question of science but of subjective human concerns like justice, fairness, morality, ethics. There's little doubt that a child is better off vaccinated, and that the society is healthier if everyone is vaccinated. On the other hand, and we're probably talking past each other here, I'm extremely loathe to force parents to vaccinate children. It does not strike me as an issue that is appropriately dealt with through law enforcement or child protection agencies, which is how such matters would ultimately be enforced. As with the case of NYC and smoking, however, I would support fairly heavy incentives and launching an educational campaign. Video of children disabled by easily preventable diseases is just as thought-provoking as elderly people dying of lung cancer.
I think that's a dangerous line of reasoning, that we should defer to experts alone and enforce their views. It's anti-democratic, and you end up in many cases deferring to the powerful. Condoleezza Rice knows a lot more about government and foreign policy than just about anyone, but I'll be damned if I'm going to follow her into another war to secure American dominance.
The natural sciences may be somewhat immune from distortion given that reality imposes a harsh discipline, but there's a lot out there from individual studies to whole disciplines that are categorized as "science" when it's a complete misnomer.
I'd rather we resort to education. New York City's anti-smoking campaign has been much more successful through education and incentives than the country's drug policy has been through force. If we want to get the vaccination rate up, I say we spend the money on educational campaigns rather than on the heavy hand of law enforcement and various Child Protective Services agencies.
Your post exhibits two ideas that are prominent among people hiring in well-compensated fields: 1) It is meaningful to apply a strict ordering to candidates, and 2) you can discover this ordering. It's far more likely that neither one of these are true in most real circumstances. You could have thrown a dart to pick among the final 7 candidates.
The odd thing about this is that when captains of industry are asked how the American worker can improve his lot, we are told workers need to be more flexible. They must be willing to retrain, relocate, accept less compensation, etc. Yet when businesses hire, they are completely inflexible. Only the perfect candidate at the desired price will do, or we are led to believe the business won't function. Maybe it's time for businesses to be a little more flexible in their hiring and "make do" with the domestic labor pool.
He may or may not have been duped. He definitely agreed to undergo a medical procedure regarded as risky by respected practitioners, but that's not the same thing. Furthermore, if making a personal decision that most people wouldn't agree with disqualifies one from political office, clearly no one would be truly qualified. Instead, there seems to be a more basic rule at play: if we are sympathetic towards the politician, the mistake is unrelated; if we are not, it's not.
First of all, your reactionary argument is incongruous for someone who doubtless considers himself a leftist. Second, the politics of private gun ownership have nothing to do with identity politics. That term is used to describe politics based on one's perceived self-interest as an intrinsic member of a social group. Broadening it to cover ideological groups would render it meaningless, in which case you might as well remove the reference anyway.
That aside, I think your post says a lot more about you than it does about the hypothetical fellow posing with a handgun. His possible motivation is limited only by the imagination of the guesser. From my experience, I can tell you he probably doesn't think his handgun is "an ugly tool," its usage "always grim and sober." He probably thinks it's pretty cool in the same way certain men (and women) like monster trucks or rocketry. He will only ever shoot it recreationally, and probably expects to use it in self defense about as often as he expects his house to burn down. To be clear: never.
When I see a picture of someone with a gun, I have about as much a sense of foreboding as when I see a children's marshal arts class. I'm sure if you owned a gun and used it recreationally, or lived with someone who did, you wouldn't find them so fearful either.