Sunday, January 26, 2014
Gloom, Doom, and The Bet
Irritated that Paul Ehrlich was making a fortune with his apocalyptic prophecies while he, Julian Simon, labored in obscurity, Simon issued a challenge in 1980: Let Ehrlich choose any five commodities and then watch their prices either rise or fall over the next decade. If the prices rose, Ehrlich would seem to be right about shortages; if the prices declined, Simon would seem to be right that things were becoming more plentiful. Ehrlich accepted the challenge and the two men agreed on $1,000 worth of five metals: copper, chromium, tungsten, nickel, and tin. They agreed that, 10 years later, the loser would mail a check to the winner for the difference above or below $1,000.
Read the rest of Patrick Allitt's essay here.
Posted by Michael Wade at 7:32 PM