The Future of Egypt: Time to Go On the Record
By Bryan Caplan
One good way to guard against hidesight bias is to publicly state your odds in advance. The Iranian Revolution, for example, spurred a wave of cock-eyed optimism around the world. But before long, theocracy and bloody warfare left Iran in ruins. The cheerleaders for the original revolution rarely made mea culpas; most just conveniently forgot their initial enthusiasm. So now’s the perfect time for serious thinkers to go on the record. Suppose we place equal weight on personal freedom, economic freedom, real GDP per capita, and peace. What are your odds that by this metric, Egypt will improve, plateau, or get worse over the next ten years?
I say 15% better, 60% plateau, 25% worse. To actually bet, of course, we’d need to specify the range of the “plateau.” But it’s still a useful place to begin. Who else wants to go on the record?