Can you imagine Angela Merkel or Margaret Thatcher or even Sarah Palin doing that? Offering to bet a lot of money on the issue in the middle of a debate is hyper-masculine, aggressive, and low class. It is not all that different from asking the guy if he wants to step outside.

Prediction markets where the other side of the bet is a faceless horde are completely different. There is no humiliation inflicted.

That would seem totally in character for Sarah Palin to me (and even more so for Ann Coulter), but then I'm French, so my mental model of Palin may be a bit off.

I don't see it as low class, and I consider "solving" disagreements by betting better than appeals to authority or agreeing to disagree. However it would seem a bit unseemly for someone already in a position of authority (like Thatcher or Merkel), I'm not totally sure why ... maybe because we want to know what they do, not what they think and say, and once they're in power they shouldn't ... (read more)

1buybuydandavis8yI don't think it's low class. It's a rhetorical way to challenge someone to put up or shut up. It would have been smarter to bet $1. That makes it clear it's challenging the point. The dollar is a token of the challenge. And I think Thatcher would have done it, and she would have done it right with a single pound. As far as hyper aggressive, she had bigger stones than all our current candidates combined. Watch some youtubes of her at Question Time.

Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet

by MileyCyrus 1 min read12th Dec 201126 comments

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For those who don't follow politics, Mitt Romney offered to bet Rick Perry $10,000 that Perry had misquoted Romney. (video)

Most political commenters see the move as a gaffe. They claim the bet made Romney look out of touch, because it reminded voters that Romney is rich enough to afford $10,000.

As a believer in prediction markets, I am disappointed in the public's reaction. Romney made a bold move by making his beliefs pay rent. Critics point out that $10,000 is "chump change" for Romney, but Romney still but himself at risk. If he had lost the bet, Perry could have made a production about cashing a $10,000 check from a disgraced Romney. Besides, if money were the issue, Perry could have countered with a non-monetary bet.  "Loser has to attend the next debate in a clown suit" or something.

If politicians had to face real consequences every time they made a false statement, they would have a larger incentive to tell the truth. It's a shame Romney's bet probably won't catch on.

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This post is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney or his politics. All I am endorsing is political betting.