May 11, 2010

Nothing Human Works As Advertised

I'm astonished when people are surprised at the failures of capitalism, or socialism, or communism.

I'm amazed when people are stunned that Democratic policies don't work. Or Republican policies. Or liberal policies, or conservative policies.

I'm astounded when people express dismay that Wall Street is stupid, or government is wasteful.

I laugh when I hear people complain that economists were wrong, or that an education scheme didn't pan out, or that a social policy had the opposite of its intended effect.

How much history do you have to read until you realize that there is no right way to do things, just different wrong ways? How many failures does it take to realize that systems devised by humans never work as advertised?

The longer a system survives, the more obvious its flaws become. It's like the slight wobble of a top. The longer it spins the worse it gets.

The best we can do is to identify the systems that wobble the least.

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