We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, December 28. 2016
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
A few more
Hopefully Trump awards Sowell a Presidential Medal of Freedom
"... pay no price for being wrong."
without a specific context, this demonstrates why quote mining is bullshit and here, especially, you can make that quote mean whatever you need it to mean.
if you punish every wrong decision you'll never have anyone take any risk or show any initiative out of fear of being wrong. ("wrong" being, again, whatever you need it to mean). the corporate structure protects shareholders from personal liability, the business judgment rule protects management from honest mistakes and suits by shareholders, the federal bankruptcy protects bad business decisions. all this is in the business context but that cherry-picked statement is wrong in so many other facets of life.
any anyone trying to defend that out of context statement by putting it in context has proved my point that naked claims are bullshit.
The examples you state don't refute Sowell's logic. For examples, shareholders stand to lose money if they buy into companies unwisely (e.g. that are not profitable or make defective products, or make poor business decisions), management can be fired for making poor decisions. Bankruptcy laws do give a company or individual a second chance, but those who declare it pay a price regardless.
It seems pretty obvious to me! He's obviously not talking about business people but rather those (e.g. intellectuals and politicians) who come up with ideas about how the world ought to work but when their ideas are implemented and fail, they suffer no consequences of their being wrong.
So when an academic, intellectual, or politician says that a company should do something, for example, pay their employers more, provide more benefits, etc., the appropriate response should be - "Why don't you start a business and show us how it's done." Spouting off on how things ought to be is easy and risk free, but if you risk to implement what you think, that's very different.
you are injecting facts into the quote that are not there which illustrates why quote-mining yields only a feel good bromides.
lesson 1, corporate law.
a corporation shields shareholder, directors and officers from personal liability for company debt or the exercise of business judgment in most instances. someone could get fired or lose the value of an investment but S doesn't make this nuanced difference from getting hit with a multi-million dollar lawsuit. without this shield, capitalism would collapse overnight.
@douglas. thanks for making the same point about context.
You didn't address my point. The quote you said lacked context in the first place needs none as it is a rule that works in the general case and in the second place none of your examples or your counter example refute Sowell's axiom. It seemed obvious to me that "wrong" does not mean "illegal." Since the subject was making decisions, wrong refers to a bad decision.
So how about: "The most stupid and dangerous system for making decisions is one where those who make decisions are insulated from the consequences of those decisions." It's the same thing.
the statement should be made with reference to specific issues. because "pay no price" could mean anything from a mild caution (which is what I might do to a junior lawyer who made a mistake that could be professionally costly to me and is a "price" only in the most literal sense) to being actually thrown under a bus and crushed.
the statement is also awkward in this sense: a legislator can vote up a bill that was ultimately bad or had unintended adverse consequences to some but does not affect him personally (because he lives in Oregon and the bill affects Floridians). calling this "stupid" and making "no sense" itself is a dumbass remark.
the rule makes sense only if your general case makes assumptions that are not warranted except as a defense of quote-mining. this is exactly what sachriels does every day here, pulling quotes and comments out of context and presenting them as TRVTH, it is sloppy but expected of him.
if you need to make this point, give an example like, "it is an insanely stupid way of writing federal regulations when an administrative rule maker is more responsive to special interest lobbyist because the system shields him from oversight (consequences) by an elected official".
Whatever... You seem to be stuck on "pay no price", but you give examples where a price is paid (i.e. mild rebuke or being thrown under the bus). It was completely obvious to me what he meant and that it was just common sense. I'm completely bewildered that anybody would try to discredit it. After all, a mistake is often the biggest teacher but only if one pays a price for that mistake. It is rare that a person learns anything from a mistake for which he hasn't paid a price. More often, he is emboldened to make the mistake again assuming there is no price. The academic/intellectual/politician who has "great" theories about how the world works doesn't really know if those theories work because he hasn't tried them. Look at all the college professors who have supported Chavez and support Maduro. Socialism is great - but they're not going to Venezuela to live under it. They can spout all kinds of nonsense and pay no price because they are mostly tenured.
It's your prerogative to find examples where you think it doesn't apply (taking the Constitution at its word, I think your Oregon example is, while not completely off point, weakened because the Federal Govt. is designed to handle national issues and the states are supposed to handle local ones - 10A) or determine that the people who make decisions should not be impacted by their folly (along with the rest of those impacted by that folly). But I expect that you resent it when people who have only theories impose those theories on you but not themselves.
Using the word "punishment" implies imposition of an unpleasant outcome in response to an action, and I'm pretty sure that the context here is "consequence".
You are correct. BTW, this concept is central to Nicholas Nassim Taleb's Antifragile as well, though he calls it "skin in the game."
The punishment needn't be draconian, just enough of a price to get your attention. What's the alternative, to featherbed every consequence? I don't understand the approach.
A large part of my worldview is based on Sowell's Conflict of Visions, the eternal struggle between the educated fools who think they know what's best for everybody else and the ignorant wise men who realize they don't know enough to run anybody else's life. If there's one message he's always pushed it's that you should never be sure you have it all figured out, and beware anybody foolish enough to think that they do.
Or, as one of my favorite quotes from Oliver Cromwell has it, in reply to the Church of Scotland when they proclaimed they spoke for God, "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."
where does he say that about fools and wise men? are you talking about [i]Vision of the Anointed[i]?