Reading Tyler’s views on the great stagnation, American deficit, American politics, the Euro, Greece, Medicare, Social Security, climate issues etc. I hardly see a sliver of optimism anywhere.
What things is Tyler really optimistic about?
Beware the fallacy of mood affiliation! (Choosing a view to correspond to an overall desired or appropriate mood.) And don’t overrate the importance of the public sector. A few points:
1. I am a utility optimist and a revenue pessimist; better that than the other way around.
2. Many readers of TGS neglect the last section of the book which notes that a) the great stagnation is going to end, and b) we’ve already made the critical breakthrough, namely internet/computers/smart machines, we just haven’t seen most of the gains yet and they may take longer than most people expect. I’ll be writing more on this.
3. I am a pessimist about the euro but not Europe. The continent will do fine once it gets past this mess, albeit with some suffering along the way.
4. I am optimistic about most social issues, such as the increasing felicity of marriage.
5. I am optimistic about how well immigration will go.
6. I am optimistic about human cognition and the Flynn effect.
7. I am optimistic about the future progress of medical care, albeit with some lags.
8. I am increasingly optimistic about the WMD terrorism issue, though I am not sure if I am in absolute terms an optimist on this issue. The terror groups don’t seem very robust or well-organized, and that may be for reasons which are intrinsic to their operations and ideology.
9. I am optimistic about most developing countries and this is a significant issue.
10. I am a pessimist about climate change and biodiversity, though most other environmental issues seem fine or at least manageable and possibly improving.
11. I am a pessimist about how we treat animals.
12. I am an optimist about restaurants in northern Virginia.