I remember reading about the idea of pundits as “counterindicators” (evidence in favor of the opposite of whatever they were saying) a few years ago, and I’ve been fascinated ever since. I’m sure this isn’t truly statistically significant, but a study showed that pundits did worse than random at predicting future outcomes (less than 33% given three choices for example).
This makes me wonder, can one rationally begin with the fact that Bill Kristol, Amity Shlaes, and Dan Senor signed an anti-quantitative easing letter, and conclude that quantitative easing is probably a good idea? I am completely serious about this. And a less speculative question: if the actual economists who signed the letter are on the up-and-up, why did they let Bill Kristol, Amity Shlaes, and Dan Senor sign it too?
Try to put yourself in their shoes. Suppose there was a subject you were an expert on and that you decided to be a signatory on an open letter to some important body about the issue. Suppose that by some strange chance ill Kristol, Amity Shlaes, and Dan Senor agreed with you and wanted to be signatories as well. Would you still sign the letter if their names were on it? I would not.