Zombie Ideas? Blame the Billionaires…

 

“We are in the business of making mistakes. The only difference between the winners and the losers is that the winners make small mistakes, while the losers make big mistakes.” -Ned Davis

 

I began my career in finance on a trading desk. You learn some things very early on in that sort of situation. One of the most important things is that while it’s OK to be wrong, it can be fatal to stay wrong.

Unfortunately, that standard doesn’t apply to people whose work isn’t evaluated on a daily and objective basis via their profit and loss results. In many fields, such as politics and policy-making, there are lots of shades of gray when it comes to being right or wrong.

And quite bluntly, that is a shame. As a society and a nation, we would all be better off if the people who are consistently wrong paid some sort of price for those errors. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen enough these days.

Some bad policy decisions will lead to the occasional elected official being turned out of office. That — unfortunately — is the exception, not the rule. I doubt history will rank George W. Bush and Barack Obama among our great presidents , but both were re-elected despite being unpopular. Between gerrymandered congressional districts and apathetic voters, even the most incompetent elected official has almost lifetime tenure.

What underlies all of this nonrecourse bad policy? It is much more than corporate lobbying and partisan politics. The worst of today’s political malfeasance is being driven by failed ideologies. Zombie ideas that refuse to die have become enshrined in our collective intellectual legacy. The people behind these have been insulated from the economic costs they impose.

Blame the billionaires.

Continues here

 

 

Category: Bad Math, Philosophy, Politics, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

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