I Win All My Ebola Bets
By Bryan Caplan
Back in 2014, Ebola was national – and global – news. Even in Africa, fears ultimately turned out to be overblown. The WHO’s official tally was about 11,000 fatalities. The true figure is almost certainly higher, but not grossly so. This is far short of the hundreds of thousands of deaths so many predicted. Brad DeLong, for example, opined: “Ebola will not become the biggest public health problem in West Africa
unless deaths reach the high seven figures – which they may: it is highly
likely that deaths in the six figures are now baked in the cake.”
$100 says that less than 300 people will die of Ebola within the fifty United States by January 1, 2018.
As always, you can insist I got lucky. But this would carry far more weight if pessimists were lining up to take my money back in 2014. Needless to say, they weren’t. Betting kills hyperbole; and for most people, politics without hyperbole is as dull as watching paint dry.
Still think I got lucky? Well, if you’ve got another Ebola bet to propose, I’m all ears.