Thursday, August 16, 2012

How NOT to Explore Our Own - Available - Options

(Commentary posted by Roger Erickson.)

The following article by Peter Van Buren cuts across monetary operations as just one area where tactics are masquerading as national goals. If we don't systematically define what success means for us, we'll continually be recruited to campaigns whose relevance to our REAL if ill-defined goals continues to elude and frustrate us.

How Not to Reconstruct Iraq, Afghanistan -- or America A Guide to Disaster at Home and Abroad
Peter Van Buren

"I spent a year [in Iraq] with the Department of State helping squander some of the $44 billion American taxpayers put up to “reconstruct” that country.  [Seven years] after their “liberation” by the American invasion of 2003, [many Iraqis] were still wandering that unraveling, unreconstructed urban landscape looking ... for food.

I flew home [one] day, a too-rapid change of worlds, to a country in which the schools of my hometown in Ohio could not afford to pay teachers a decent wage. Once great cities were rotting away as certainly as if they were in Iraq ... . To this day I’m left pondering these questions: Why has the United States spent so much money and time so disastrously trying to rebuild occupied nations abroad, while allowing its own infrastructure to crumble untended? Why do we even think of that as “policy”?

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Let's hope this is temporary ignorance, which we can remedy with discussion and practice. If we don't work as a culture to remedy these policy failures,

"Andrew," in a comment at Warren Mosler's site, nails a worse condition that we can easily fall further into.

"The economic prosperity of the 99% hinges on them properly understanding the budget deficit and National debt. The political power of the 1% hinges on the 99% NOT understanding."

Continuing that mismatch between group and class goals is not only stupid, it's a recipe for national failure.  If nothing else, let's make it an overt goal to cease, forever, the maladaptive habit of confusing ourselves, in order to rob ourselves.  How is that supposed to define success, either as creating a more perfect union, or as improving the general welfare of the people?

ps: There's an obvious generalization of Andrew's statement, one that is a given axiom of all variants of system theory.

The economic prosperity of any group hinges on the full group adequately grasping situational awareness and their options for shaping it.   None of us can be smarter than all of us - hence return-on-coordination is always the highest return.

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