In my previous post I identified the vortex caused by responding to perceived grievance with a policy sop that is wrong headed and subsequently gives ground for further grievance and another round of misdiagnosis by the electorate.
Of course it remains a further difficulty for the chance of good outcomes to prevail that those who think they know – or are at least paid to – often disagree about whether a policy is wrongheaded or enlightened.
For example, the mainstream economics and finance establishment view the steps taken in financial regulation since the financial crisis of 2008 as an enlightened response to the risks in the system that previously were not fully apprehended. However, those with less faith in public intervention – John Cochrane being a notable example – often write about the new legislation and public trespassing in private financial markets as if this is a wrongheaded policy sop responding to a perceived grievance in a way that will inevitably lead to further crises.
Relatedly I had the honour of a bashing from Wolfgang Munchau who accuses me of arrogance for pronouncing Brexit to be a bad idea that would not help those who voted for it.
Obviously, and having campaigned as part of the economics Remain effort, I don’t agree that there is any doubt that the many likely Brexit outcomes will harm. But the piece does make, along the way, the general point that there is still debate to be had about what rational policy is and that no one expert could claim unchallengeable authority on the question.
It is somewhat ironic, however, that this point is made in the context of an article that explains something of the awful protracted nature of the exit process and agreeing new terms of trade!