Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is No Progressive on Economics

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the author of The Black Swan (2007) and Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (2001), works about unpredictable events. The latter book also invoked the writings of George L. S. Shackle, and both of his books caused something of a stir.

But here we can see how far this man is from any progressive economic agenda. His assertions that America needs to eliminate deficits, and has been risking hyperinflation are, quite frankly, just utter rubbish. He even says he is afraid of hyperinflation (8.25), putting him in company with some of the most laughable Austrian ideologues.


5 comments:

  1. Hyperinflation acts as an apocalyptic hubris myth for the right, a punishment on "sinners" for not running society the way the right wants, similar to the role played by global warming apocalypse on the left. Notice that each side tends to dismiss the other's apocalypse as Chicken Little stuff.

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    1. Perfectly said, Mark Plus.

      Thank you, LK, btw for pointing out Taleb as a mere rhetorical pundit. I am actually a big fan of his book, The Black Swan, but his hyperinflation talk clearly shows him punching out of his league.

      His critical role is in probability theory, not monetary or fiscal policy.

      PS: LK, don't you think it is perfectly possible to be not a progressive and still understand that hyperinflation and deficit hysteria is misplaced? All it requires is a simple adherence to the truth, not one's politics.

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  2. "PS: LK, don't you think it is perfectly possible to be not a progressive and still understand that hyperinflation and deficit hysteria is misplaced? "

    Absolutely. I did mean to exclude people of other political persuasions.

    I have said before that it is perfectly possible to be politically, socially and religiously conservative, and yet be a Keynesian - there is a perfectly respectable conservative Keynesian tradition:

    http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2011/04/conservative-case-for-keynesianism.html

    Witness the old-style British Tory Ian Gilmour. Or Ted Heath.

    Both basically loathed Thatcher for her dogmatic, laissez faire economics and social philosophy.

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    1. Correction:

      Absolutely. I did *not* mean

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  3. There is, indeed, one right-winger (Mish) who thinks there's a very real risk of deflation.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.ca/2012/02/hugh-hendry-of-eclectica-discusses.html

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.ca/2010/02/are-there-any-white-swans.html

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