From beyond the grave, Pascal heaves a sigh of relief

It turns out that the laws of probability were not, in fact, suspended in favor of Chief Virtuecrat William Bennett. Having insisted at the time that he came out “pretty close to even,” he now admits having lost “a lot of money,” enough to have made a difference in his life. (*) (He still denies having been a gambling addict, and doesn’t see anything hypocritical in having made millions denouncing other people’s vices while ignoring his own.)

Whether or not he’s a hypocrite, he’s certainly a liar, having changed his story on a point he on which he could hardly have been mistaken.

Older post, including links to the Eugene Volokh/Brad DeLong exchange about whether Bennett’s earlier claim could have been true, here.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: