National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has some things to say on the dangers of elite groupthink. Excerpt:
When the supposed clueless Trump was elected, a number of elites pronounced his economic plans to be absurd. We were told that Trump was bound to destroy the U.S. economy.
Former Princeton professor and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman insisted that Trump would crash the stock market. He even suggested that stocks might never recover.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said Trump would bring on a recession within a year and a half.
The former head of the National Economic Council, Steven Rattner, predicted a market crash of “historic proportions.”
In contrast, many of Trump’s economic advisers during his campaign and administration, including outsider Peter Navarro, pundit Steven Moore, former TV host Larry Kudlow and octogenarian Wilbur Ross, were caricatured.
Yet three years later, in terms of the stock market, unemployment, energy production and workers’ wages, the economy has been doing superbly.
The point of these sharp contrasts is not that an Ivy League degree or a Washington reputation is of little value, or that prestigious prizes and honors account for nothing, or even that supposed experts are always unethical and silly.
Instead, one lesson is that conventional wisdom and groupthink tend to mislead, especially in the age of online echo chambers and often sheltered and blinkered elite lives.
We forget that knowledge can be found at all ages, and in all places. And ethics has nothing to do with degrees or pedigrees.
We also forget that knowledge does not equal wisdom, a quality which is in damned short supply these days.
It’s a rare thing to find an ideologue at any point on the political spectrum who can admit “I was wrong.” Look, for example, at the endless contortions the anti-Second Amendment types are going through to try to downplay the instant response by armed parishioners that ended a would-be mass shooting in Texas – in six seconds.
Dr. Hanson points out many more examples on economic issues in the linked article. The problem is, as Dr. Hanson points out, that the popular wisdom usually is neither popular nor wise. The horse’s asses sitting in Congress are no exception. Policy proposals coming out of the Imperial City these days are largely crap, proposed by panderers and littered with confirmation bias. And, as Dr. Hanson further points out, so many of their fever-dream outcries and predictions of horror turn out to be just plain wrong.
It’s little wonder that political croakers and bureaucrats generally have approval ratings somewhere between vultures and polecats.