Story Stream
recent articles

Though I’m in no position to decide who qualifies to be labeled “genius,” if I had to guess, I’d say that Jeremy Grantham is beyond brilliant.  The way he speaks is so deliberate that not a single syllable seems to have left his mouth without hours of consideration before it, which is why I’m baffled, not by the insights Grantham shared on The Great Simplification podcast, but by a small but glaring component of his remarks.  How is it possible that an 85-year-old who seems sharper than those half his age could say what I deem devoid of economic reasoning?  I am truly at a loss for words (kidding; I’m writing this article).  I’m so bewildered that instead of firing off a lonely social-media post, I thought it best to write about this, so please read on.

Almost immediately into the 140-minute discussion, Grantham opines on the “need” for governments the world over to solve “climate change.”  I’m not arguing against Grantham’s claim that rising temperatures constitute a crisis, nor am I arguing in support of it.  I am asking, if rising temperatures are the threat that Grantham fears most, why in the world would he want governments to ameliorate it?  “At what cost?” is a question of which Grantham seems completely unaware.  Governments trade only in waste, fraud, abuse, more abuse, and, especially, abuse.  Though coercion and force are what Grantham might have in mind for his preferred solution, what about the tradeoffs, and why task an entity barren of talent with a job requiring so much of it?

Geniuses are likely not found in government, as they—not parasites—are who start the companies which benefit humanity.  Why do geniuses tend to have more money than others?  Answer: they serve their fellow man to a greater degree than others.  Yes, Grantham co-founding GMO, safeguarding his clients’ capital, and enabling them to accumulate more amount to a service to humanity, and it’s why Grantham is rich.  Governments degrade humanity, but it’s those very same criminal enterprises—the stationary bandits—whom Grantham imagines to be needed.

Regarding tradeoffs, it must surely not be necessary to remind Grantham of the four-year-old ‘solution’ that governments imposed on the people they allegedly serve.  Kidding again!  It is necessary because Grantham spoke so favorably of the “social contract” that I’ve neither seen nor signed.  Grantham praised the Japanese for their “social contract,” which Grantham seems to define as an eagerness to obey, while he simultaneously expressed his dissatisfaction for the alleged weakness of Sweden’s “social contract,” due to its government having done what any Western government is required to do: not infringe on its people’s inherent, human rights.

Furthermore, Grantham believes that pollution is what’s causing global temperatures to rise, so why in the carbon-rich hell would he want the worst polluters to regulate pollution?  As I wrote five years ago, “the U.S. government is the nation’s worst polluter,” with the Department of ‘Defense’ polluting “more than the rest of the federal government combined.”  If Grantham were truly antipollution, wouldn’t he be antiwar?  I’ve yet to hear him express that sentiment.  But I assure you, it gets ‘better.’  Grantham’s response to the following question is as revealing as it is perplexing.  “If you could wave a magic wand, Jeremy, and there was no personal recourse to your decision, what is one thing you would do to improve human and planetary futures?”

Grantham responds, “I suppose that’s easy; I would wave a magic wand and have the population become one billion.”  Hold on.  If that’s his “easy” fix, why is Grantham so concerned about declining birth rates and sperm counts?  Brings to mind the meme, “You are the carbon they wish to eliminate.”  And if that sounds conspiratorial, Grantham removes all doubt when he says that he’d like to correct “deficiencies in capitalism.”  No, that governments and their sycophants—Grantham presumably chief among them—keep trying to make capitalism bend to their will is why capitalism appears to some as deficient.  “Capitalism” properly defined is “voluntary exchange,” but Grantham, apparently, is no fan, which exposes Grantham as the most polite tyrant-in-waiting whom I’ve ever heard speak.

I enjoy listening to Grantham, but his eloquence will not paper over what F.A. Hayek called the “fatal conceit.”  I think Grantham’s work on bubbles is incredibly fascinating, and I consider myself fortunate for having heard Grantham speak in, now, two podcasts.  However—and don’t get me started on the latter’s host—no amount of perceived or real intelligence will ever convince me that I’m too stupid to survive without the “experts.”  No, the Bard of Boston has not convinced me otherwise.  Want me to do something?  Convince me.  Show me the data.  Buy me a drink.  Let’s chat.  Good ideas require zero coercion to implement, which is why the notion that governments—the most violent, dirty, and parasitic entities the world has ever known—are instrumental in saving humanity is laughably absurd.  I’ll conclude with a quote from C.S. Lewis, and my sincere hope is that Grantham not only reads it but regards it as an incentive to pause and reflect:

Casey Carlisle is a writer in the Pacific Northwest. 

Show comments Hide Comments