Thinks 485

David Brooks: “The wisdom of many is better than the wisdom of megalomaniacs. In any system, one essential trait is: How does information flow? In democracies, policymaking is usually done more or less in public, and there are thousands of experts offering facts and opinions. Many economists last year said inflation would not be a problem, but Larry Summers and others said it would, and they turned out to have been right. We still make mistakes, but the system learns. Often in autocracies, decisions are made within a small, closed circle. Information flows are distorted by power. No one tells the top man what he doesn’t want to hear.”

WSJ: “Based on his long-ago research into small hunter-gatherer societies, Ethiopian gelada baboons, and more recently, meetings, cellphone logs and social-media posts, Mr. [Robin] Dunbar writes that friendships sift themselves into concentric circles, like a bull’s-eye. The innermost ring comprises our closest friends and family members. This “support clique” numbers around five people and is so named “because it consisted of all the people who would unstintingly give you support or help if you needed it,” he writes. The next ring, at 15 people, forms what he calls the “sympathy group,” which he defines as “the people you invite round for a quiet dinner or an evening at the pub.” Then comes a circle of 50 “good friends,” and on and on in multiples of three, with 150—the eponymous Dunbar’s Number—marking the upper limit of how many friends you can have. Eventually we reach the ring of 500, which comprises acquaintances you know through work or a social group, but who are “unlikely to bother turning up to your funeral.”

Walter Williams: “It’s not rocket science to conclude that whatever lowers the cost of capital formation, such as lowering the cost of investing in earthmovers, enables contractors to purchase more of them. Workers will have more capital to work with and as a result enjoy higher wages. Policies that raise the cost of capital formation such as capital gains taxes, low depreciation allowances and corporate taxes, thereby reduce capital formation, and serve neither the interests of workers, investors nor consumers. It does serve the interests of politicians who get more resources to be able to buy votes.” [via CafeHayek]

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.