I don’t know.
Will cutting corporation tax boost job creation, stimulating economic growth and ultimately higher wages? Is Trump’s bid to bring peace between North and South Korea ultimately going to work? Are the Iranians secretly working on a nuclear weapons program while pretending to develop a peaceful one?
I don’t know.
I don’t have enough information to have a solid opinion on those things. I have hunches on all three, but I don’t really know. I’ve never studied macroeconomics in detail or looked at enough case studies of different taxation policies and their mid-term implications. I don’t know anything about Korea. And I don’t speak Farsi, don’t understand the motives of the Islamic Republic of Iran and have no clue whether or not they really want to inch the world one step closer to nuclear annihilation.
Neither do you, most likely. And neither do most people.
That’s ok. The amount of information it takes to have a properly considered view any given topic, let alone all topics, is breathtaking. It is way too much to take in within one lifetime. All we have to go on are faint shadows of the real story, spat out to us from snippets of media we see here and there. Even if we read up extensively on a topic, we don’t know that the journalist who wrote the story really knew what they were talking about. The average journalist is under tremendous pressure to meet tight deadlines and doesn’t necessarily have time to research everything they write to the degree you would want. They are often wrong.
Still further we know we know almost nothing by taking a look at history. What was once commonly accepted wisdom is now considered laughable garbage. To think we will not look back at our current times at some point in the not so distant future and wonder why were so stupid is ludicrously optimistic.
This is true even in today’s information-saturated world. We have access, through our devices, to more information than anyone generation in history. All of that access has not expanded the capacity of the human mind. What it has done is give us the ability to compare the opinions of experts on a reasonably level playing field and to vastly broaden the pool of people able to take part in intellectual endeavor.
Therefore hold one’s opinions more lightly, be more willing to change your mind, and treat people who may be wrong as fellow seekers of truth who just made a mistake, rather than as evil people hell bent on destroying everything you hold dear.
Once we realize that we are probably wrong and so is everyone else, it can motivate us to be a little kinder when arguing about things, especially online.