Documentary Exposes Rise of the Unaccountable Fourth Branch of Government, Rule by Experts

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A new documentary film attempting to throw light on the rise of government power wielded by unelected experts–known today as the fourth branch of government or the administrative state—launched online on Jan. 27.

This unaccountable administrative state, which is reined in at the margins by the courts from time to time, is why laws today largely come from administrative agencies, not from elected lawmakers responsible to voters, the documentary argues.

The film “Trust Us” by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a Sacramento, California-based national public interest law firm that specializes in challenging government overreach, traces the growth of the modern administrative state that empowers bureaucrats—instead of the people’s elected representatives—to manage American society according to their preconceived notions of how the country should be run.

Directed by Chase Kinney and produced and written by Joseph Kast, the film features Amity Shlaes, author of “The Forgotten Man”; Roger Koppl, author of “Expert Failure”; former CIA analyst Martin Gurri; and PLF senior attorney Steve Simpson. Also featured are a bevy of academics, including George Mason University’s Don Boudreaux, along with two Hillsdale College professors, Joseph Postell and Kevin Portteus.

The overarching theme of the film is that in nearly every aspect of American life–from the food you eat to the house you live in to the way you raise your children—there’s a powerful expert somewhere in the federal government who thinks you’re doing it wrong. And these experts have accumulated more and more power for themselves at the expense of the constitutional system of limited government and checks and balances that the nation’s founders hoped would govern the country.

This rule by experts reached its apex in the government’s perceived overreaction to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which led to clampdowns on individual liberty in order to combat a disease that was a threat only to a tiny percentage of the population. With the cheerleading of government science experts such as Anthony Fauci, the government showed that it can make people so frightened about a problem that they can be stampeded into eagerly surrendering their freedoms, according to the film.

By Matthew Vadum

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New documentary exposes history of government power wielded by unelected experts

Arlington, VA; January 27, 2023: Trust Us, a new documentary from Pacific Legal Foundation, traces the growth of the administrative state from early theories of “scientific management” to the “expert rule” that dominated America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In nearly every aspect of American life — the food you eat, the house you live in, the way you raise your kids — an expert in the federal government thinks you’re doing it wrong. And over the past century, those experts have gathered up more and more power for themselves at the expense of the American people and their representatives.

Trust Us explores the federal government’s move from rule by the people’s representatives to so-called experts ensconced in the administrative branch and the often-disastrous fallout of the policies they championed.

Trust Us features Amity Shlaes, author of the New York Times bestseller The Forgotten ManMartin Gurri, Mercatus Center visiting fellow; Steve Simpson, Pacific Legal Foundation senior attorney; Roger Koppl, author of Expert FailureJoseph Postell, Hillsdale College professor; Kevin Portteus, Hillsdale College professor; and Don Boudreaux, George Mason University professor.

Trust Us is available to stream on YouTube and Tubi and for purchase ad-free on Amazon.

Visit the Pacific Legal Foundation

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