Thursday, October 04, 2018

The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting

The Map and the Territory is Alan Greenspan's look at the Great Recession of 2008 and the impact on the markets. It comes across a bit as "we messed up, but there were problems with our data so it wasn't really our fault." HE does have some interesting insights on entitlement programs (like social security.) Since people are paying into them, they don't think of them as "charity", even when the government provides them much more in benefits than they take out. His analysis also shows that the programs have depressed wages - primarily of lower earning families. However, these are wages that "were never seen", thus they don't have political objections. He also acknowledged that most of the economic models failed to predict the great recession. He is very conservative and finds issue with welfare states. He finds free market capitalism the best tool for raising everybody up. (But he acknowledges that there will be people that suffer from the obsolescence of their previous jobs.) Training programs can help people adapt to new skills needed. However, these programs have often been encumbered by politics. He further laments the extreme political stratification. Washington get-togethers once were balanced between Republicans and Democrats, but now seem to be overwhelmingly one or the other, leaving little cross aisle communication. (This can be seen today with the supreme court confirmation hearings - both sides seem to feel their side has "won", and have little respect for the other side.)

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