NEVA MAKGETLA: Yell of ‘fire’ should not provoke retreat from what needs to be done
Risk-averse strategies in response to populism cannot deliver the profound changes we need, including in monetary policy
A century ago US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre exemplified abuse of free speech. It can lead to panic, stampedes, even deaths.
It makes a difference, however, if there really is a fire. The person shouting “fire” may be stirring panic, and you may try to shut them up. But you still need to put the fire out.