Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
“It’s his abusiveness.”
Really? Here are just a few of your quotes from those pesky Post Archives.
“The “4 percent rule” has caused millions of busted retirements”
“When you calculate the SWR accurately, you find that the withdrawal rate that is described in the Old School studied as “100 percent safe” has only a one in three chance of working out for those who retired at the top of the bubble. That means that there are going to be millions of busted retirements resulting from just this one error”
“I think the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies caused millions of busted retirements by getting the numbers so wildly wrong.”
“There are going to be millions of busted retirements resulting from the demonstrably false claims put forward in the Old School safe-withdrawal rates studies.”
There’s no conflict between those statements and what I am saying here.
The 4 percent rule will have caused millions of failed retirements in the days following the next crash (we obviously will not have any problem if it turns out that the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research is not legitimate research).
Who is responsible for those millions of failed retirements? If it was all a mistake, no one was responsible. If it all was a mistake, then we all just have to be careful not to repeat the mistake.
But that’s not the situation that we are dealing with. I pointed out the mistake in a post that I put to the Retire Early board at the Motley Fool site on the morning of May 13, 2002. Thousands of our fellow community members expressed excitement over the post, saying that they saw it as the most valuable post in the history of the board. Big-name experts like Rob Arnott endorsed the post, saying it checks out with what the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research says in every way and that it opens up the way to hundreds of big advances in our understanding of how stock investing works. A fellow with a Ph.D. in Economic saw how excited people were over the things they were learning in the debate that followed the post asked me if I would be willing to co-author research showing that this post led us to the future of investing analysis and to get it published in a peer-reviewed journal and to get it featured on the front page of the New York Times. All good stuff, right? So what’s the problem? Why would we be seeing millions of failed retirements when so many wonderful people helped us out in so many wonderful ways to accomplish so many wonderful things?
Death threats. Demands for unjustified board bannings. Thousands of acts of defamation. Threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs. A 15-year Campaign of Terror against our board and blog communities led by Mel Lindauer, John Greaney and Jack Bogle. Criminally abusive acts. By the thousands. A level of abusiveness never seen before in the history of the United States. Over the pointing out of an error in a mathematical calculation that could have been checked out in five minutes.
No one goes to prison when a hurricane destroys millions of lives. Because hurricanes are not man-made. But if some scientist had an advanced technology that permitted him to see a hurricane coming 15 years in advance and he tried to warn people and some evil genius devoted 15 years of his life to stopping the word from getting out, that evil genius would be sent to prison for a long, long time, no? Is there any possibility whatsoever that he would not?
Does all of that not sound at least roughly right even to your Goon-impaired ears, my good friend?