Thesis Skins 2014

Thesis Skins 2014-67
Forcing skin in the game corrects this asymmetry better than thousands of laws and regulations." Actors - per Taleb - must bear a cost when they fail the public.A fund manager that gets a percentage on wins, but no penalty for losing is incentivized to gamble with his clients funds.

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Bearing no downside for one's actions means that one has no "Skin In The Game", which is the source of many evils.

An evolutionary process is an additional argument for SITG. Many war hawks don't themselves bear any risks of dying in a war they advocate.

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Taleb points out that being educated and "intellectual" does not always mean that someone isn't an idiot for most purposes. 'Educated philistines' have been wrong on everything from Stalinism to Iraq to low-carb diets." Taleb dedicates a chapter to IYIs in his book Skin in the Game.

The term was picked up and used late in the 2016 U. presidential election by Newt Gingrich when he criticized the negative response Trump received after the first presidential debate stating that "The Intellectual Yet Idiot class is so out of touch with America that they don't even realize how badly they are doing and how well Trump is doing." Graham Vyse in his article "Democrats Should Stop Talking About Bipartisanship and Start Fighting" from The New Republic referenced Gingrich's use of IYI as divisive and that until the Republicans become more collaborative, "Democrats need to drop the subject, too, and fight like hell instead." A "stubborn minority" can impose its will on the relatively disinterested majority.

Those who err and have SITG will not survive, hence evolutionary processes will eliminate (physically or figuratively by going bankrupt etc) those tending to do stupid things. Robert Rubin, a highly-paid director and senior advisor at Citigroup, paid no financial penalty when Citigroup had to be rescued by U. Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI) is a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his essay by the same name that refers to the semi-intelligent well-pedigreed "who are telling us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… They represent a very small minority of people but have an overwhelming impact on the vast majority because they affect government policy.

IYI are often policy makers, academics, journalists, and media pundits.

The book is dedicated to "two men of courage": Ron Paul, If an actor pockets some rewards from a policy they enact or support without accepting any of the risks, economists consider it to be a problem of "missing incentives".

In contrast, to Taleb, the problem is more fundamentally one of asymmetry: one actor gets the rewards, the other is stuck with the risks.


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