Forfatterarkiv: Jonas Herby

Popper og Hayek om nedlukninger

Birsen Filip fra Mises Institute har skrevet et indlæg om, hvordan Karl Popper og Friedrich A. Hayek ville have set på nedlukningerne.

Jeg ved ikke, om jeg er 100% enig, men interessant læsning er det ikke desto mindre.

Nedenfor et par uddrag. Hele indlægget kan læses her.

If Karl Popper and Friedrich Hayek had witnessed the type of central planning that has taken place since the beginning of the pandemic, they would have called it “holistic social engineering.” They were convinced that supporters of the concept of a social engineer sought to extend “the power of the State” in controlling and reshaping society as a whole in accordance with their own ideals, goals, and wills. According to Popper, social engineers believe that they can diagnose the goals and needs of society, and then implement a strategy to achieve them through large-scale planning. However, such an undertaking would require social engineers to centrally coordinate the activities of millions of people by replacing the wills and ends of those individuals with their own. 

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Når begge politiske fløje tager fejl om nedlukningernes effekt…

Dette studie, Dave et al. (2021), er ret interessant, fordi det peger på, at begge politiske fløje var overbeviste om, at det var politikerne der styrede pandemiens udvikling. De var blot uenige om, hvordan man skulle afveje økonomisk aktivitet i forhold til reddede liv.

I sidste ende viste det sig dog, at det slet ikke var politikerne der styrede pandemien og foretog afvejningerne. Det gjorde borgerne. Her er fra abstract (min fremhævning):

In the midst of mass COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts in the U.S., Texas became the first state to abolish its mask mandate and fully lift capacity constraints for all businesses, effective on March 10, 2021. Proponents claimed that the reopening would generate short-run employment growth and signal a return to normal while opponents argued that it would cause a resurgence of COVID-19 and kill Texans. This study finds that each side was largely incorrect. First, using daily anonymized smartphone data — and synthetic control and difference-indifferences approaches — we find no evidence that the Texas reopening led to substantial changes in mobility, including foot traffic at a wide set of business establishments. Second, we find no evidence that the Texas reopening affected the rate of new COVID-19 cases or deaths during the five weeks following the reopening. Our null results persist across more urbanized and less urbanized counties, as well as across counties that supported Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Man så lidt samme tendens i Danmark, hvor diskussionen sjældent gik på, om nedlukningerne overhovedet virkede. Ofte var det hensynet til økonomien, der blev brugt som argument for genåbninger. Også selvom den ene genåbning efter den anden blev efterfulgt af en aftagende pandemi på trods af modellernes påstand om det modsatte.

Figur: Modelprognoser for antal indlagte patienter med og uden genåbning sammenlignet med faktiske udfald (Danmark, 2021)

Hvad gør Putin, hvis/når Rusland taber krigen? Måske ingenting…

Jacob Nyrup, Oslo Universitet, der forsker i bl.a. diktatorer, har skrevet en interessant tråd på Twitter om hvad Putin gør, hvis/når han taber krigen mod Ukraine.

Nyrup når frem til den – lidt overraskende – konklusion, at svaret sandsynligvis er: Ingenting.

Nyrups primære argument er, at diktatorer ofter sidder tungt på magten og selv bestemmer, hvornår de vil gå af (indtil de ikke selv bestemmer det længere, selvfølgelig). Han giver en række eksempler på diktatorer, der led nederlag, og alligevel blev siddende på magten.

En af forklaringerne er, at diktatorerne selv bestemmer, hvad “sandheden” er. Bl.a. fordi han styrer statsmedierne.

Det gode ved dette er – set fra vores synspunkt – at Putin ikke behøver smide en atombombe. Hvorfor skulle han dog det, når han ikke er truet og man i Rusland anser ham for at “vinde”…

Om Nyrup får ret, vil tiden vise. Argumenterne ser umiddelbart ud til at holde.

Videnskab.dk lever ikke op til eget navn i kritik af dansk vaccinestudie

Videnskab.dk har udgivet en stærkt kritisk artikel om studiet fra danske forskere, Benn et al. (2022), som på baggrund af de randomiserede data, der førte til vaccinernes godkendelse, finder at mRNA-vaccinerne ikke reducerede den samlede dødelighed (Christian Bjørnskov har skrevet om studiet her). Jeg er ikke vaccineforsker og vil derfor ikke begive mig ud at vurdere studiet. Men jeg har en del erfaring med videnskab.dk[i] og har derfor set lidt på kritikken.

Min overordnede konklusion er, at intet af det, videnskab.dk bringer som en kritik af studiet, faktisk er reel kritik. Der er snarere tale om påpegning af, at der er rum for yderligere forskning (som Benn et al. også selv konkluderer). Videnskab.dk’s artikel havde været betydeligt mere videnskabelig, hvis den var gået til resultaterne med åbent sind og – i stedet for at forsøge at affeje resultaterne – havde formidlet de muligheder for yderligere forskning, der åbenlyst er på baggrund af de yderst interessante resultater i Benn et al. Der er trods alt en stor del af verdens befolkning, der endnu ikke er blevet vaccineret eller har behov for revaccination mod COVID-19, og de skal selvfølgelig have mulighed for at vælge den bedst mulige vaccine.

Men lad os tage kritikken punkt for punkt.

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Huslejereguleringen skaber boligmanglen

Da man fjernede huslejereguleringen i Norgei 1982, ændrede boligannoncerne i Oslo sig fra “Lejlighed søges” til “Lejlighed udlejes”. Det er et af resultaterne i Oust (2017).

Kan det siges mere enkelt, at boligmangel skyldes huslejeregulering?

Her er Cowens og Tabarroks beskrivelse af resultaterne:

Are Oust studied rent controls in Oslo, Norway and found that during the rent control era it was common for landlords to require their tenants to be of a certain gender, age, occupation and even religion (which would be illegal in the United States). Landlords would also find ways to charge extra by asking renters for extra services such as baby-sitting, garden work or snow-clearing. When rent control was eliminated, however, the number of apartments increased and landlords no longer advertised these kinds of requirements. Perhaps most telling, in the rent-control era it was common for renters to advertise “Apartment Wanted” but when rent controls were lifted it became much more common for landlords to advertise “Apartments for Rent!”

Og her er abstract fra Oust (2017):

The removal of the Norwegian rent control in 1982 created a natural experiment that enabled us to investigate whether rent control affected the search and matching process in the private residential rental market in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. We collected and analyzed data on “housing for rent”, “housing wanted” and “housing exchange-wanted” advertisements in Oslo covering a period from 1970 to 2008. We concluded that use of newspaper listing services by potential tenants and landlords changed after the rent control removal. Our results indicate that it is more costly, in time and money, for a potential tenant to search for and to find a home under rent control. Moreover, our results indicate that rent control increases the probability of and the distance from the ideal dwelling, in size, standard and location, a potential tenant have to settle for.

USA er et gennemreguleret land. Og her er data, der viser det

Institute for Justice har en hjemmeside, med overblik over en lang række lavtlønsjob, der kræver licens. Siden giver et godt indblik i de store problemer USA har med overregulering.

Det er virkelig skræmmende data. Fx kræver 37 ud af de 50 delstater en uddannelse, hvis man vil arbejde som shampooer (dvs. vaske kunders hår).

“On average, aspiring shampooers must pay $130 in fees, complete 248 days of education and experience, and pass about two exams”

Only in the US (og UK faktisk…)

Bryan Caplans nye blog

Bryan Caplan har fået en ny blog, der hedder “Bet On it”.

Jeg vil anbefale dig at abnnere på bloggen. Caplan er en ekstremt interessant person, som skriver godt og logisk. Og stiller mange gode spørgmål.

Her er fx et udsnit fra hans indlæg om navnet på sin nye blog:

If someone claims that “Safety should be our absolute priority,” we should be taken aback if he eats in a restaurant during a pandemic.  The same goes if a habitual heavy drinker insists, “I do everything for my family,” an irregular church-goer declares, “Nothing is more important to me than my faith,” or a London homeowner announces, “Immigrants have ruined the city.”  Actions speak louder than words: If immigrants really “ruined” London, why don’t you sell your pricey home and move elsewhere?

The seductive power of hyperbole is one major cause of the gap between words and actions.  Overstatement comes naturally to most human beings.  Measuring your words, in contrast, requires conscious effort.  If immigrants annoy you, what fun is it to say something reasonable, like “Immigrants have made this city 2% worse for me”?  Sure, such a statement lets you rebut the “Why don’t you sell your pricey home and move elsewhere?” challenge with a curt “Because a 2% decline in the value of living in London is far too small to justify a move.”  But when you make your position credible, you make it bland.  And who wants to be bland?

Du kan finde indlægget her Og du kan abonnere på bloggen øverst på forsiden her.

En glimrende beskrivelse af, hvorfor det er korrekt at se bort fra COVID-modeller, når man vurderer effekten af nedlukningerne

Jack Mintz fra Fraser Institute og School of Public Policy hos University of Calgary har i skrevet om vores meta-studie i Financial Post.

Han beskriver bl.a. – ret klart – hvorfor kritikken af, at vi ikke medtager modelstudier (som primært blev fremført af epidemiologer), var helt forfejlet. Her er teksten (mine fremhævninger):

Not surprisingly, many epidemiologists took vigorous exception to these results, which are so different from their theoretical models, which were excluded from the analysis. In their view, the Johns Hopkins study cooked the books. In fact, something deeper is at issue.

The scientific method is a proven approach to garnering deeper insights into how the world behaves. It begins with the development of a theory that rests on several assumptions, such as how a disease spreads in the population (e.g., by air or by touch). The theory is then used to derive a prediction, such as the number of COVID deaths avoided. The theoretical models that emerge are typically sophisticated mathematical equations that yield numerical predictions once data are applied to each variable in the model.

The models have to be tested, however. That requires analyzing past data to see whether their predictions were in the ballpark. This is not an easy task since observations, such as the number of COVID deaths, depend on many other factors besides lockdowns and these also need to be included in the analysis. One approach to create more confidence in a theory is to “backdate” models to see if their predictions are close to what actually happened. Set the model up with data that goes to 2010, say, and then see if it “explains” what happened between 2010 and now.

The Johns Hopkins authors were right to include in their meta-analysis only papers that had been tested empirically, not those that had only made theoretical predictions. Whether their conclusion about the effect of mandates is correct only time will tell. Future studies will determine which theories are correct or not. That’s how the scientific method works.

Central regulering gik katastrofalt galt

Foreign Policy har skrevet en interessant artikel om, hvor galt det kan gå med central regulering.

Deres overskrift er ganske vist “Økologisk landbrug gik katastrofalt galt”. Men det er ikke økologisk landbrug, der evar problemet i Sri Lanka. Det var central regulering. En bedre overskrift havde i mine øjne derfor været “Central regulering gik katastrofalt galt”.

Her er et udsnit af artiklen:

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised in his 2019 election campaign to transition the country’s farmers to organic agriculture over a period of 10 years. Last April, Rajapaksa’s government made good on that promise, imposing a nationwide ban on the importation and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordering the country’s 2 million farmers to go organic.

The result was brutal and swift. Against claims that organic methods can produce comparable yields to conventional farming, domestic rice production fell 20 percent in just the first six months. Sri Lanka, long self-sufficient in rice production, has been forced to import $450 million worth of rice even as domestic prices for this staple of the national diet surged by around 50 percent. The ban also devastated the nation’s tea crop, its primary export and source of foreign exchange.

Læs hele artiklen her.

Er sygeplejersker mindre selviske end ejendomsmæglere?

Mange vil nok umiddelbart mene, at sygeplejersker i højere grad udviser omsorg for andre end ejendomsmæglere. De er trods alt ”velfærdsstatens frontsoldater”.

Men helt så enkelt er det ikke, viser Jacobsen m.fl. (2022), som bruger en twist af diktatorspillet til at vise deres pointe. I diktatorspillet får én person tildelt en portion penge, og skal efterfølgende vælge, hvor stor en andel af pengene, personen vil beholde selv, og hvor stor en del af pengene, der skal gå til andre (i dette tilfælde er ”andre” Amnesty International).

Jacobsen m.fl. (2022) finder i det klassiske diktatorspil – som mange nok ville forvente – at sygeplejersker rent faktisk ER mindre selviske end ejendomsmæglere, når de skal tage stilling til, hvor mange af pengene Amnesty International skal have.

In Part 1 of our experiment, every subject was asked to share 100 Norwegian kroner (NOK), or about 16.5 USD, between themselves and Amnesty International. Our results show that brokers contribute, on average, a substantial 61 percent of their endowment; nurses‘ contributions were significantly larger, however, reaching an average of 75 percent. Thus, in this particular context, nurses were indeed more generous than brokers.

Men her stopper Jacobsen m.fl. (2022) ikke. De udvider spillet ved at give deltagerne mulighed for at betale 10 kr. for at undgå at skulle tage stilling til, om de vil give Amnesty International pengene. Og på dette punkt er sygeplejerskerne faktisk mere selviske, for de er mere tilbøjelige til at betale for at undgå at skulle tage stilling.

In the second part of our experiment, therefore, subjects were given the choice between two options, A and B. Option A implied repeating the game from Part 1 with certainty. Option B implied a 50 percent probability of repeating the game from Part 1, and a 50 percent probability of receiving 90 NOK with no opportunity to donate to Amnesty International. Thus, option B implied a 50 percent probability of costly exit from the dictator game situation. Nurses were substantially more likely to opt for the exit alternative than brokers: 36 percent of brokers and 51 percent of nurses chose B.

Aha. Så selvom sygeplejersker gav mere under part 1, så er de også mere tilbøjelige til at vælge at undgå at skulle tage stilling til at give penge til Amnesty International. Og effekten er betydelig. I gennemsnit gav de 75% af pengene væk. Hvis de ”slipper ud af spillet” og undlader at skulle tage stilling, koster det dem kun 10%. En forskel på hele 65%-point.

Men. Det bliver endnu mere komplekst:

Interestingly, however, those subjects who opted for exit but drew a repetition of the dictator game contributed substantial amounts: 31 percent for brokers and 42 percent for nurses. Even after accounting for exit behavior, nurses were more generous than brokers (in Part 2 and in total).

Som forfatterne påpeger, er resultaterne svære at forklare. Sygeplejerskerne er mere tilbøjelige til at forsøge at undgå at blive sat i en situation, hvor de skal tage stilling til, om de vil give penge til Amnesty International. Men hvis de bliver sat i situationen, donerer sygeplejerskerne mere. I hvert fald i gennemsnit.

As we discuss in more detail below, this pattern of behavior is hard to reconcile with most standard models of social preferences. One possible explanation, however, could be that nurses experience a stronger sense of duty to conform with moral ideals, and that this sense of duty applies more strongly to sharing decisions than to exit decisions.

Man kan spekulere over, om det måske netop er fordi de ved, at de vil give mere, hvis de bliver sat i situationen, at de forsøger at undgå den…

Jacobsen m.fl. (2022) er udgivet her (en gratis arbejdspapir-version kan hentes her).

Kontakttallet i Danmark var under 1, da man lukkede ned i december 2020

Jeg har tidligere beskrevet, hvordan forskere fra Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München har konkluderet, at nedlukningerne ikke havde nogen effekt på kontakttallet, R, i Tyskland. Forskerne finder nemlig, at kontakttallet faldt til ca. 1 godt en uge før den delvise nedlukning d. 2. november 2020, hvorefter kontakttallet svingede omkring 1 på trods af diverse stramninger.

Ser vi på kontakttallet i Danmark, er historien næsten lige så tydelig. Før nedlukningen faldt kontakttallet fra 1,2 d. 28. november til 1,0 d. 9. december, hvor de første kommuner blev lukket delvist ned. Det fremgår af nedenstående figur, som er baseret på data fra SSI’s datafiler. Udover de daglige kontakttal (som SSI afrunder til 1 decimal) har jeg i figuren tilføjet et 7-dages gennemsnit (midten af ugen +/- 3 dage), så man nemmere kan se udviklingen i kontakttallet.

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Nye økonomiske muligheder frigjorde kinesiske kvinderne fra traditionen med liljefødder

Nyt studie viser, at den kinesiske tradition med at invalidere kvinder ved at binde deres fødder ind (kaldet liljefødder), forsvandt da kvinder blev økonomisk værdifulde som arbejdskraft. En effekt der ikke er helt ukendt i den vestlige verden, hvor moderne teknologier som vaskemaskiner, industrialiseret fødevareproduktion osv. var med til at sende kvinderne ud på arbejdsmarkedet.

Her highligts fra studiet (mine fremhævninger):

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I Danmark har vi for meget regulering – og det hæmmer væksten

Heckelman og Wilson (2019) undersøger sammenhængen mellem regulering og vækst i 132 lande. De finder – hvilket giver intuitiv mening – at sammenhængen har en omvendt U-form, så et stigende omfang af regulering som udgangspunkt er forbundet med øget vækst (intuitivt, fordi det er veldokumenteret, at fx veldefinerede ejendomsrettigheder øger væksten), men at effekten af yderligere regulering bliver negativ, når omfanget overstiger vist niveau (defineret som overregulering).

Figuren nedenfor viser sammenhængen mellem regulering (baseret på Fraser Institutes Economic Freedom Index) og væksten i BNP pr. indbygger baseret på alle deres observationer. Figuren viser, at der er overregulering i ca. 60% af observationerne, og at en den samlede effekt af reguleringen i for en række observationer er negativ. Væksten ville altså – for disse observationer – være højere helt uden regulering.

Heckelman og Wilson (2019) kigger også specifikt på OECD-lande. De finder, at omfanget af overregulering er så betydeligt, at den samlede effekt af regulering på den økonomisk vækst er negativ for alle OECD-lande. Dette er illustreret i nedenstående figur, som viser at den samlede effekt er negativ for alle OECD-lande (bemærk, at der er 0 observationer til højre for den sidste lodrette, stiplede linje). Bemærk, at de – kontraintuitivt – finder en U-formet sammenhæng mellem regulering og vækst, og man kan nok diskutere, om det reelt vil give et samlet positivt bidrag til væksten, hvis man blot indfører regulering nok.

Her er abstract fra Heckelman og Wilson (2019), som kan hentes her, hvis man har adgang (jeg kan ikke finde en version med gratis adgang).

Existing evidence suggests that regulation diminishes economic growth. In theory, however, regulation may be either growth-enhancing or diminishing. We therefore empirically revisit the relation between regulation and growth, allowing for both positive and negative effects. In an unbalanced panel of 132 countries over eight time periods, we find evidence of a hump-shape relation between regulation and growth. The estimates imply that for more than 95% of the sample the total effect of regulation on growth is positive. The estimates also imply that about 60% of the sample observations are associated with over-regulation, relative to the growth maximizing level. Similar findings apply to the (majority) subsample of non-OECD nations in the dataset. However, for the (minority) subsample of OECD nations, both the total and marginal effects of regulation on growth are negative.


man in black jacket and black pants standing under vehicle

Hårdere konkurrence gør det (lidt) nemmere at få bilen godkendt ved det periodiske syn

Det bør være velkendt, at liberaliseringen af bilsynet har været en stor succes med store brugergevinster (min tidligere arbejdsplads, Incentive, har for Konkurrence- og Forbrugerstyrelsen beregnet brugergevinsterne til at være 114-153 mio. kr.)

Men hvordan påvirker liberaliseringen sandsynligheden for at få bilen godkendt ved periodisk syn? Det afhænger af konkurrencesituationen, viser Habte og Holm (2022). De skriver at:

…inspection stations that operate in highly competitive markets are more lenient toward their customers than are stations that operate in less competitive markets.

Effekten er dog relativt lille og deres fixed effects estimat er fx mindre end de udsving man finder mellem forskellige måneder.

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Min samtale med Karsten Bo Larsen om “Flugten til privatskolerne”

Forleden havde jeg den udsøgte fornøjelse at tale med min kollega, Karsten Bo Larsen, om grundskolen. Samtalen tog udgangspunkt i TV2’s udsendelse, “Flugten til privatskolerne”, men vi kom vidt omkring.

Du kan se samtalen her, eller lytte til den i din foretrukne podcast-app.

Efter samtalen skrev Mie Dalskov Pihl fra Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd et svar til Karstens blogindlæg, hvor hun bl.a. skriver:

Til det skriver Karsten Bo Larsen, at Kraka finder en meget lille effekt. Men mener han virkelig det? Faktum er i hvert fald, at Kraka finder, at en ligelig fordeling af elever på tværs af skoler med hensyn til herkomst og forældrebaggrund på sigt vil give 11 mia. kr. i ekstra erhvervsindkomst om året. Det mener jeg ikke er småpenge.

I vores samtale forklarer Karsten , hvorfor det er en meget lille effekt. Her er hvad Kraka skriver i deres analyse (min fremhævning):

Konkret vil en helt lige fordeling af eleverne, så elevsammensætningen er ens på tværs af skoler, resultere i en gennemsnitlig stigning i erhvervsindkomsten på 0,6 pct. Det svarer til en samlet årlig gevinst på op til 11 mia. kr. fuldt indfaset

Som Karsten forklarer, så skal der meget, meget voldsomme indgreb til, for at sikre en helt lige fordeling af eleverne. Bl.a. vil man ikke kunne tillade, at folk selv vælger, hvor de bor (fordi børn går i skole i nærheden af deres hjem). Karsten forklarer også, at effekten på 0,6 pct. i erhvervsindkomsten først kommer fuldt ud efter 60 år, når alle årgange har fået effekten af den helt lige fordelingen, og der er sket en fuld tilpasning af kapitalapparatet (han uddyber her)

0,6% over 60 år ved ekstremt indgribende regulering, hvor alm. vækst vil gøre os 100%-200% rigere. Det er i mine øjne en meget lille effekt, så jeg er helt enig med Karsten her. Jeg har på Twitter spurgt Mie Dalskov Pihl, om hun vil uddybe, hvorfor hun mener, det ikke er en lille effekt. Jeg afventer et svar.

Johan Anderberg om udlandets (manglende) interesse for COVID-19-pandemien i Sverige

Johan Anderberg – som jeg talte med i Regelstaten episode 55 – har skrevet et interessant indlæg om Sverige og COVID-19 under overskriften “Here’s Why No One Wants to Talk About Sweden“.

For anyone still interested, the results were impossible to deny. By the end of 2021, 56 countries had registered more deaths per capita from Covid-19 than Sweden. With regard to the restrictions that the rest of the world had put so much faith in — school closures, lockdowns, face masks, mass testing — Sweden had more or less gone in the opposite direction. Yet its results were not noticeably different from those of other countries. It was beginning to become increasingly clear that the political measures that had been deployed against the virus were of limited value. But no one spoke about this.

From a human perspective, it was easy to understand why so many were reluctant to face the numbers from Sweden. For the inevitable conclusion must be that millions of people had been denied their freedom, and millions of children had had their education disrupted, all for nothing.

Who would want to be complicit in that?

I Danmark har vi jo talt en del om Sverige, men jeg mener, at Johan har ret i, at en stor del af de udenlandske mediers og politikeres interesse for Sverige forsvandt ca. samtidig med, at det gik op for alle, at katastrofen udeblev, og Sverige faktisk klarede sig nogenlunde fornuftigt gennem pandemien uden strikse nedlukninger.

Kilde: OWID

Du kan lytte til min samtale med Johan her:

Er huslejeregulering den værst mulige politik til at omfordele indkomst?

Nedenstående er abstract fra Ahern & Giacoletti (2022), “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul? The Redistribution of Wealth Caused by Rent Control”.

We use the price effects caused by the passage of rent control in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2021, to study the transfer of wealth across income groups. First, we find that rent control caused property values to fall by 6-7%, for an aggregate loss of $1.6 billion. Both owner-occupied and rental properties lost value, but the losses were larger for rental properties, and in neighborhoods with a higher concentration of rentals. Second, leveraging administrative parcel-level data, we find that the tenants who gained the most from rent control had higher incomes and were more likely to be white, while the owners who lost the most had lower incomes and were more likely to be minorities. For properties with high-income owners and low-income tenants, the transfer of wealth was close to zero. Thus, to the extent that rent control is intended to transfer wealth from high-income to low-income households, the realized impact of the law was the opposite of its intention.

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Interessant og skræmmende interview med Sergey Karaganov

Newstatesman.com bragte forleden et interview med Sergey Karaganov. Hvis du lige som jeg aldrig havde hørt om ham før, er her beskrivelsen fra Wikipedia. Han er ikke hvem som helst.

Sergey Alexandrovich Karaganov (Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Карага́нов, born 10 September 1952 in Moscow) is a Russian political scientist who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a security analytical institution founded by Vitaly Shlykov. He is also the dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. Karaganov was a close associate of Yevgeny Primakov, and has been Presidential Advisor to both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.

Wikipedia

Jeg fandt interviewet interessant og skræmmende, fordi det giver et noget andet indblik i russisk tankegang, end jeg har mødt i andre medier (bare se overskriften på interviewet i billedet vedhæftet dette indlæg).

Karaganov giver bl.a. udtryk for, at han ikke har den store tiltro til, at NATOs artikel 5 (musketer-eden) reelt vil fungere, hvis det kommer til stykket.

There is a growing probability of a direct clash. And we don’t know what the outcome of this would be. Maybe the Poles would fight; they are always willing. I know as a historian that Article 5 of the Nato treaty is worthless. Under Article 5 – which allows a state to call for support from other members of the alliance – nobody is obliged to actually fight on behalf of others, but nobody can be absolutely sure that there would be no such escalation. I also know from the history of American nuclear strategy that the US is unlikely to defend Europe with nuclear weapons.

Særligt det sidste er skræmmende. Hvad er konsekvensen, hvis russerne tvivler på, at USA vil gengælde et atomangreb i et andet NATO-land? Her er mere:

I don’t know what the outcome of this war will be, but I think it will involve the partition of Ukraine, one way or another. Hopefully there would still be something called Ukraine left at the end. But Russia cannot afford to “lose”, so we need a kind of a victory. And if there is a sense that we are losing the war, then I think there is a definite possibility of escalation. This war is a kind of proxy war between the West and the rest –  Russia being, as it has been in history, the pinnacle of “the rest” – for a future world order. The stakes of the Russian elite are very high – for them it is an existential war.

Hvis han har ret, og Rusland på et tidspunkt er ved at tabe en eksistentiel krig samtidig med, at de tvivler på, at USA vil svare på et atomangreb. Hvad er så konsekvensen?

Well, escalation in this context means that in the face of an existential threat – and that means a non-victory, by the way, or an alleged defeat – Russia could escalate, and there are dozens of places in the world where it would have a direct confrontation with the United States.

Hans tanker om Vesten er heller ikke betryggende…

So the West will never recuperate, but it doesn’t matter if it dies: Western civilisation has brought all of us great benefits, but now people like myself and others are questioning the moral foundation of Western civilisation.

Interviewet er værd at bruge 10 minutter på. Læs det her.

Afstemning om forsvarsforbeholdet: Ord påvirker valg

Der er masser af evidens for, at man kan påvirke folks valg ved at ændre på fremstillingen af et spørgsmål.

Det kan fx ske gennem “anchoring” (forankring), som er en kognitiv bias der gør, at en persons valg kan påvirkes af referencepunktet (altså: “ankeret”). Et af de klassiske eksempler er, at folks telefonnumre kan påvirke, hvor meget de vil betale for fx en god flaske vin.

The group with phone numbers ending in digits between 76 and 100 were willing to pay three times as much for the wine as those in the 0-to-25 numbered group ($36 vs. $12).

PCMA
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