Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Commit yourself early

On the 30th of September last year Brian Caplan made a simple point about the bailout that almost everyone will violate. You need to specify before the fact what would count as evidence that the policy you favoured was wrong. The temptation if things turn out well is to credit the bailout and if things turn out badly to say, "think how bad things would have been if there wasn't a bailout!". Which is another way of saying, there is no possible evidence which will make me believe I am wrong.

I wrote a similar (clunky) post a little while after.

Same deal with the stimulus. I already see that some liberal economists are moaning that the stimulus is too small. Clever! If the economy sinks into a deep recession, hey they warned us that the stimulus was too small, but if things don't turn out too bad they can say, "Whew! Good thing we got that stimulus!".

Apart from being plain wrong, I find this incredibly annoying.

1 comment:

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