I think our people in congress should take heed of the definition of blunder that Zachary Shore provides in the introduction to his book Blunder (Zachary Shore – Home).
To fully understand Shore’s definition you need to first understand the term “cognitive traps.” He says “cognitive traps” consist of “rigid ways of approaching and solving problems. Cognitive traps are inflexible mind-sets formed from faulty reasoning.”
The term “cognitive trap” applies to much of the thinking that passes for modern economic theory. And the Obama economic team and congress have fallen into a cognitive trap in formulating their “stimulus” plan.
Shore makes the distinction between mistakes and blunders. “A mistake is simply an error arising from incorrect data.” Most of the people involved in this economic mess (e.g. bankers and securities dealers) have made mistakes. They based their decisions on erroneous pricing data caused by the expanding supply of money. (I have covered this topic elsewhere.)
“A blunder, in contrast, is a solution to a problem that makes matters worse than before [they] began… [A] cognitive trap is the mental framework that led [them] to a blunder.” Caught in the cognitive trap known as Keynesian Economics, the Obama economic team and congress continue to advocate solutions that will eventually make the problem worse.
The current blunder has the same framework, or cognitive traps, as the blunder of the Great Depression. Hopefully, this one won’t be quite so bad.
Shore also says, “I believe we often blunder not because our thinking is wrong, but because it is rigid.” I, on the other hand, think the people in government suffer from wrong and rigid thinking.
(Quotes all extracted from Blunder by Zachary Shore.)
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Prior to the inauguration of President Obama I found a site set up by the transition project to receive comments and suggestions. They called one section of this site “Your Seat at the Table.” I discovered this site a little belatedly, but on January 19, 2009 I tried to take a seat at that “table” by posting a cover letter and a paper titled “Reconsider ‘Economic Stimulus’.” Surprisingly, for an administration advocating openness and transparency, my paper did not get posted.
The flaws and fallacies of this purported “economic stimulus” need public exposure. I have, therefore, posted a copy of the same PDF file (reconsider-economic-stimulus1) that I uploaded to the change.gov site.
Although the transition project has ended, I have provided the following link in case you have any curiosity about the ideas presented at that table.
Since I did not have my hand out, I understand why they did not post my piece.
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Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2009 |
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Welcome to my new WordPress blog.
I began a blog with this title a couple of years ago on another blog site, but, after maintaining it for a while, I got interrupted and let the project fade away. I started this new blog at WordPress in order to do more than just pick up where I left off. I want to provide a small voice in a cry for freedom, responsibility and sanity in our world.
The country has just inaugurated a new President. They have chosen a man who has all the tools to communicate the message of freedom, responsibility and sanity that I advocate here. But, they have also chosen a man who believes deeply in misguided principles and theories related to the role that government should play in the lives of people in this country. Intervention has become the new watch word.
I don’t, however, want to turn this blog into an anti-government diatribe (although I could find enough material to keep me writing 12 hours a day). I plan to focus on the guiding ideas behind sound thinking about economics, philosophy and systems thinking. I want to challenge readers to think about their thinking. I really do believe in free markets. I believe that, if you base your actions on accurate and valid assumptions, you will make the best decisions for your self, which will have the most beneficial influence on you neighbors.
Visit my photography site at http://jberger.zenfolio.com
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