Why are we ruled by the ignorant?


It's a very cuddly idea, isn't it? That if only women had been running the banks then we wouldn't have had the crash.

Some women MPs have claimed that the 'testosterone-fuelled' financial meltdown could have been avoided if there had been more women in decision-making positions.

As we all know instinctively, there are no power crazed Gorgons and it was entirely the testosterone pumped out by all those unutterably horrid men that led to the banks falling over.  Unfortunately, as so often happens,  instinct isn't all that good a guide to complex matters.  Before we go off and do the feminine thing of what feels right, perhaps we should go and look for some empirical evidence to support our prejudices? You know, be horribly male about it all?


This paper investigates whether exposure to the opposite sex induces greater risk-taking in both males and females.....Both males and females viewing opposite sex photos displayed a significant increase in risk tolerance, whereas the control subjects exhibited no significant change.

Yet another beautiful theory destroyed by an inconvenient fact. The truth is that if we want to reduce risk tolerance in the banking system we have to entirely purge women from it. Or men of course.

To be honest, I don't mind all that much about being ruled by those with prejudices. I've a few of those myself. But I do mind being ruled by those that are ignorant. After all, they've got £660 billion a year of our money to educate themselves with, don't they? Couldn't they use it on something a little more productive, perhaps measuring their knee jerk reactions against reality, rather than the dross they currently splurge it all on?