When I hear Paul Krugman -brilliant nobel laureate economist – fret about the economy and global warming I’m always confused by what seem to me to be grossly overstated concerns about both the health of capitalism and the health of the planet in general. Krugman’s views – to me – seem poisoned by the tendency of smart people to “overthink” problems and “understate” the potential for innovation and technology to rescue people from our foolishness.
A good example of this intellectual defect were the grossly overstated concerns back in the 70s that the earth simply could not sustain the inevitable population increase, and we’d have massive starvation and horrors … by now. Although it’s VERY important to note how poor many people are in the world, this is NOT at all a function of carrying capacity of the planet and does NOT lead one to the conclusion “don’t feed or they will breed” which is nonsense. That view is fundamentally naive and misguided and I’m amazed how many people still cling to it – extensive research now makes it crystal clear that the best path to lower birth rates and better quality of life is poverty reduction, education, and health initiatives in the developing world.
But let’s go back to the health of the economy. Buffet’s the man to listen to, not Krugman: Buffet on Economy
Obviously these are still perilous times, but fretting isn’t called for. It’s time to fret less and innovate more. Let’s GO.