The more time I’ve spent with Bryan Caplan (both virtually and in real life), the more he has persuaded me of a great many things. One is that people with very strong beliefs should be willing to bet* on those beliefs. Last week, I accidentally gave William Easterly credit for a fantastic post by Adam Martin. Bryan pointed out that anyone with superior knowledge who is confident that the Libyan intervention will “work” should be able to define what that would mean and offer odds on a bet. I’m with Bryan and Adam on this one, and if they’re willing, I’d like to join them on the “yes” side of the following bet for a small sum:
The US will be engaged in military operations against the rebels we’re currently aiding within 20 years.
I’ll reiterate Bryan’s point regarding Adam’s post: we’re saying we don’t know. The people to whom I’m offering the bet are, presumably, confident that intervening in Libya is a good idea. Therefore, they should be willing to offer us odds.
*-For my friends and fellow Christians who oppose gambling, note that the bets we’re talking about are not games of chance. They have much more in common with the instruments people have developed in the market (insurance, financial instruments, etc) to cope with risk and uncertainty.