Voters and Skin in the Game

Soul and skin in the game

So voters are irrational, voting based on emotion than ‘good’ policy. This is not new, Bryan Caplan having written extensively about this. But the difference is Caplan uses this as an argument against democracy, whereas Taleb sees it as a strength or feature due to ‘skin in the game’.

I suspect he has socialist libertarian anti-establishment, SJW-leanings, sorta like Noam Chomsky but slightly more capitalist. Welfare liberals attack rationalism, preferring things be chaotic and decentralized. They want to believe that the ‘everyday man’ is no better than the smartest, and cognitive differences between individuals either don’t exist or are meaningless. Taleb thinks that it’s ‘good’ that irrational, ill-informed people, not elites, make decisions. Part of the problem with welfare liberals, anarchists, and socialists like Taleb is they overestimate the civility and rationality of their fellow man. Headlines from 2015 and 2016 about campus protests, Islamic terrorism, riots at Trump rallies, and Black Lives Matter, is evidence against such rationality an civility. Neoliberals, libertarians, and neoconservatives at least understand the necessity and concept of hierarchy.

And speaking of ‘skin’, Taleb has a tendency of being thin-skinned himself, blocking people on Twitter who disagree with him and starting pointless feuds with people who are smarter and or more knowledgeable than him.

Taleb has been using the 2008 financial crisis as a talking point long after the crisis subsided and the economy picked up. It’s like someone who still stuck in the past, repeating the same thing over and over. Large, interconnected systems are necessary and inevitable part of any modern, commercial society. The fact such systems occasionally fail is not reason to do away with them, but instead have systems and policy in place to contain crisis. Eliminating all systemic risk and interconnections while keeping standards of living unchanged seems impossible. Taleb does a lot of pontificating but offers no viable solutions.