August 16, 2019

JOHN TAMNY: Dear Catherine Rampell, the Former Soviet Union Had Many ‘Experts’ Too.

A frequent theme in this column is one about the fallability of the brilliant. Jeff Bezos regularly acknowledges how often his experiments prove much less than great, the best venture capitalists admit that more than nine out of ten capital commitments result in bankruptcy, and then the world’s best traders note that they’re wrong almost as often as they’re right. It’s incredibly difficult to predict the future, and that’s an understatement.

This truism came to mind while reading Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell’s lament about the Department of Agriculture’s recent decision to relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) from Washington, D.C. to Kansas City. Rampell reports that in response to the announced change, only 116 ERS employees had agreed to move. The columnist is up in arms. Rampell claims that the “small-but-mighty ERS is arguably the world’s premier agricultural economics agency. It produces critical numbers that farmers rely on when deciding what to plant and how much, how to price, how to manage risk….” Someday Rampell will admit she overreacted here.

No, she won’t. But you’ll want to read the whole thing.

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