In 2005, I blogged about the fact that expert consensus is usually wrong. For instance:
- More than half of the studies published in medical journals are later proven wrong.
- Most experts predicted that oil prices would continue to rise to $200 a barrel as recently as last August, but gas prices have fallen more than 50 percent since. I based my prediction of oil in the $30s on the simple fact that the experts agreed we’d never see oil below $100.
- Global warming experts agreed in 1998 that temperatures would continue to rise at an increasing rate year over year, but global temperatures have fallen most of the period since that “consensus.”
Expert Fallibility Is Nothing New #
John K. Galbraith once observed that experts are those who are asked, not those who know. In “Nearer, My God,” William F. Buckley recounted this experience from Firing Line. Buckley took part in forum with The Economist’s “futurist.” That magazine’s founder had developed the practice of devoting one entire issue every 10 years to the expert opinions on what would be the top news stories of the coming decade:
To prepare himself for the assignment (said our guest), he had gone over the futurist issues of the past hundred years and learned that there was only this constant: the predicted concerns of the next decade turned out in no case–not ever–to be the actual concerns of the ensuing decade.
While some will attempt to argue, there’s no use. Experts are usually wrong, and experts speaking in unison tend to be more wrong than individuals. That settled, we can move on.
Conservatives Trust God and People #
One key–if not the key–distinction between conservatism and liberalism is in whom each philosophy places its trust. Conservatives trust in God and the common man; liberals trust small groups of experts. The Soviet Union confined virtually all decisions in the hands of the central committee, the Supreme Soviet, and the politburo. Same for China and Cuba. Same for the rest of the Soviet Bloc in slightly varying degrees and under slightly different titles. The United States, on the other hand, until about the midway point of the 20th century, muddled through on the genius of the masses. We relied on the theory that educated men acting in intelligent self-interest would conduct their affairs prudently, resulting in a good society with a healthy economy. While the New Deal drew us closer to the Soviet model, we remained mostly a society governed by the first 300 names in the Boston telephone book until . . . now.
Obama Is Dangerous #
Those who voted for Barack Obama and a Democrat Congress may or may not understand the philosophical earthquake they triggered. America is now on a course toward central planning, and with it, piles of unwanted mattresses stacked beside factories praised for meeting their ever increasing quota of mattresses. Demand be damned.
Stop Spending Money #
Those who wish to stop this malignancy’s metastasizing need to deny the central committee their participation. Stop buying. Horde your money, food, and power. Live a bit more austerely.
If the stimulus fails to stimulate–and they have a bad track record of late–the experiment in an American soviet will fail.
So rage against the political machine Obama now readies. Keep cash. Don’t borrow. Don’t buy that which is not necessary for sustenance. Deny the collectivist Zamboni its fuel, and you will kill the Zamboni in its tracks.
You have nothing to lose but your extras, and they are not necessary.