If opportunity costs are about cabbages, merit wants are about philosopher kings. Merit wants takes away both the reality and the rationale of economics without re-placing it with an intelligible politics. This is the moral of our tale: better a flawed economics than a bogus politics. In exposing the deep-seated presumption in favor of interaction versus cogitation, opportunity costs are vulnerable to attack by the opposing doctrine of merit wants. In considering opportunity costs, the difficulty arises, for good reason, of distinguishing among merit, utility, price, and cost. Valuing goods by their intrinsic merit is purely personal. From a time during which the normal values underlying economic action were neglected, these have now been raised to become the cornerstone of a new economics featuring mirabile dictu wants that are made meritorious. The idea of merit or intrinsic value is probably the oldest notion of value, and yet is currently the most ignored by economists.