Irving Fisher, a distinguished Yale University economics professor in 1929, predicted, “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
Three days later, the stock market crashed.
Dr. W.C. Heuper
In 1954, Dr. W.C. Heuper of the National Cancer Institute said, “If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.”
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943 allegedly said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
“(Research on the atomic bomb) is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.” That was Adm. William Leahy’s prediction in 1945.
The bottom line is that the fact that a person has academic degrees, honors and status is no reason for us to abandon our tools of critical thinking.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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