It isn’t surprising that Obama and his economic advisors’ predictions have been so wrong.
Experts — in politics, economics, climate — are very, very bad at telling people what will happen tomorrow, let alone next year or the next century. How many of the economists who tell us what to do now failed to see the mortgage debt crisis coming? Nearly all of them.
Philip Tetlock’s 2005 book, Expert Political Judgment, documents that the predictions of even the most credentialed and experienced experts are often worse and very rarely better than random guessing. “In this age of academic hyperspecialization,” he writes, “there is no reason for supposing that contributors to top journals — distinguished political scientists, area study specialists, economists, and so on — are any better than journalists or attentive readers of the New York Times in ‘reading’ emerging situations.”
The cult of experts has acolytes in all ideological camps, but its most institutionalized following is on the left. The left needs to believe in the authority of experts because without that authority, almost no economic intervention can be justified.
Phi Beta Iota: This is an excellent article with an important point, but it should also articulate the reality that the two-party system is part of the criminal network that shook down Wall Street and foreign governments for campaign contributions and ultimately betrayed the Republic. These people know exactly what they are doing, and the continue to believe they can get away with it. Most of the so-called “experts” are nothing more than theater–the blithering idiocy in the media, and particularly the mainstream media, is a point this article strives to highlight, but it misses the underlying corruption, the blatant treason in Congress and the White House, that are the root cause of our collapse. Resilience in complexity requires agility in all minds, not reliance on a few minds too easily corrupted.