Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's Like This

Imagine all your life that you had been trained that you need to water plants regularly, and that was all you ever needed to do to keep them healthy.  You went to college, got a Ph. D. and that's all you were ever taught.  You had some plant in school and watered it like they said and it was fine. 

Then, one day you get some different plants and you water them all the time.  And they die.  Puzzled, you never once consider that you over watered them.  Instead, you think you didn't water them enough. 

So you do it again, only harder, and the plants die again.  No matter what you do, those plants keep dying.  There must be something wrong with the plants. 

It never occurs to you that you're doing exactly the wrong thing.  It never occurs to you that you're killing them.  In your training, in your mental model of the world, in everything that you know, everything that you are, you've done everything right.  You'll do it again.  You'll do it every time.

And that is what we have with the government spending and "quantitative easing" (creating money out of nothing).  And that is why they will never fix the problems until they fix their thinking. 

You can fix stinkin' thinkin' - but first you have to admit you have it. 
Now I admit, this is blaming the problems on stupidity and not malice.  Or both. 


  1. Or, put another way, when your only tool is monetary easing (printing money), everything looks like excess capacity.

    I've observed many times in my career: in times of trouble, people and organizations tend to fall back on whatever they perceived to have worked for them in the past, and they tend to do it "harder". That is, they tend to double down, put the nose to the grindstone, the shoulder to the wheel, and repeat past mistakes with even greater enthusiasm.

    Einstein tells us this is the definition of insanity.

    In the case of the economy, what's "worked" (define "worked", please...) in the past has delivered us to the present, and doing more of what "worked" in the past will deliver us to an even more fouled-up future.

    Go ahead, attribute it to stupidity, but please do remember BS Footprint's Razor. The only trick is correct identification of your opponent...

  2. I'm fond of pointing out that just because it's stupid doesn't mean it's not malicious. Opponents can be both.

  3. If it's .gov, you can bank on it being both. Especially with this administration.

    John Brunner wrote _Stand On Zanzibar_ many years ago. In it he explained the mindset of the "progressives" who currently rule us:

    "I can't, so you musn't. I can, but you musn't."