The Limits of Incompetence

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Trader33160, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

    This article is worth a read, in my opinion

    The Limits of Incompetence
    Our social instincts compel us to think well of our fellow man. In spite of much evidence to the contrary, we think him competent to cast votes, to decide how to spend and borrow money, and how to bring up his own children. We persist in this conviction even as the manifest lack of competence at every level of American society causes it to careen toward ruin. We recoil at the thought of government bureaucrats separating the competent from the incompetent, making those who are incompetent, along with their children, wards of the state, remedying their incompetence through strict discipline when possible, and consigning the rest to a lifetime of manual labor in service of society. Many of us quite justifiably think that the government bureaucrats are themselves incompetent, or worse. Those who no longer trust the competence of either the government or our fellow man instead put their faith in corporations or in churches or even in bloggers and internet newsgroups (pathetic, I know). They may preserve their sanity by doing so, but it does nothing to change the big picture. Presumably, it is better to be a competent observer of collapse than an incompetent one.

    Of course, the label of generalized American incompetence seems to cast too wide a net. After all, most of us have the competence to not starve when provided with cans of baked beans and a can opener. But it seems that each and every one of us is forced to plead incompetence when presented with the task of judging the value of various figments of financial imagination which comprise fully half of the increasingly fictional US economy, for the depths of incompetence on which this crumbling edifice floats are truly unfathomable. It started with incompetent public officials who blithered on about “ownership society,” which is a boneheaded idea. This, in turn, empowered individuals who were incompetent to make financial decisions to borrow vasts sums of money, with the loans backed by an implicit government guarantee. It proceeded to incompetent appraisers, who inflated the value of the collateral based on circular reasoning (value = price = value), and to incompetent bankers, who improperly documented, resold and bundled the loans into unfathomably faulty Collateralized Debt Obligations. It proceeded to incompetent government officials who treated these faulty documents as valuable and backed up their value with public money which they are yet to collect in taxes. It proceeded to incompetent judges who rush through foreclosures and throw people out of their homes based on faulty or nonexistent documentation of ownership...........continued on
  2. Nice article. Thanks.