Strangling in Red Tape

True – Code of Federal Regulations governing small business

This is interesting, from Jack Doll, writing in The Federalist.

In his seminal and controversial books “The Bell Curve”and “Coming Apart,” Charles Murray makes the compelling case that differences in intelligence between groups is creating a chasm between the rich and the poor that is only widening. In the modern age, the ability to critically think, read at an advanced level, and perform complex mathematics makes the difference between working in engineering, accounting, law, or the sandwich line at Subway.

This is not to say there isn’t worth in these non-intelligence-intensive fields. My father was a firefighter and although he didn’t have to perform calculus to do his job, the people he saved were likely eternally grateful either way. And, as Uncle Eddie in the hilarious TV show “Grounded for Life” once said, “If everyone could do anything they wanted, who would make the sandwiches?”

Well, if you say so. It might be true for making sandwiches at Subway, but being a firefighter, or at least living through being a firefighter, is certainly a way of making a living that requires intelligence. Think about it, you drive up to a building engulfed in flames, you have to decide whether to enter or whether it’s going to collapse, whether the heat is too high to survive, and many other real-life decisions that must be taken right now. I do not think the author means to demean his father here, but those of us that deal with things in real-life and real-time, see things not as something interesting to write about over the next few days, but as problems that have to be solved real-quick using the knowledge that we already have. One can learn a lot from books, and I’d bet that firefighters do, but the best knowledge comes from experience. The old saying is this, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment, hopefully, someone else’s”.

In all seriousness, however, the “intelligence gap” is a worsening problem that partially helps explain the rise of Donald Trump. In the book “Shattered,” Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen quote Hillary Clinton aides who rave about Hillary’s policy “wonkiness” (a word only used in Washington DC). They detail how Hillary Clinton could have discussions for hours about the nuances of law and schemes to help “the children” or “women” (classic Hillary talking points). All of that sounds wonderful. Hillary acolytes who read that book I could barely get through might come out saying “she’s so smart, why on Earth isn’t she President?” They also unwittingly answer their own question.

Hillary Clinton’s plans, in reality, are Rube Goldberg machines. Rube Goldberg was a comic strip author who drew complex machines that accomplished a simple goal. For example a “self-operating napkin” (per Wikipedia) would operate as such: [Goldberg was also an engineer, UC Berkeley, ’04. Neo]

This, on the other hand, is an excellent and true point, with the extra added benefit of requiring even more bureaucrats to administer. Win, win, only the people lose, and who cares about them, other than their tax money.

Soup spoon (A) is raised to mouth, pulling string (B) and thereby jerking ladle (C), which throws cracker (D) past parrot (E). Parrot jumps after cracker and perch (F) tilts, upsetting seeds (G) into pail (H). Extra weight in pail pulls cord (I), which opens and ignites lighter (J), setting off skyrocket (K), which causes sickle (L) to cut string (M), allowing pendulum with attached napkin to swing back and forth, thereby wiping chin”

The usual definition of a Rube Goldberg contraption is a mechanism to accomplish a simple task involving a ridiculously overcomplicated series of devices. It is a perennial fun subject in engineering. When I was at Purdue, and continuing till this day, I think, the Engineering school sponsors a contest to design and make work the most ridiculous machines. It is the opposite of elegant design, which is enough to accomplish the mission and not a bit more. See the Golden Gate Bridge for an elegant example.

Enough is important though, see Galloping Gertie. And I’d bet somewhere in that organization there was an engineer, draftsman, or construction worker who knew what was going to happen to that bridge. There always is. But too much is just as bad, wasting resources, time, and money. It may not catastrophically fail, although sometimes it will, but it will never work properly.

One of the major issues with these regulatory schemes is that high-IQ people who love details (and are extraordinarily boring at parties) are too caught up with their own Rube Goldberg machines to see the obvious. It is reminiscent of the character of Lucifer in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Lucifer (or Satan) is highly intelligent and rational (which explains why he is God’s highest angel). However, he is banished from God’s heavenly kingdom because he attempts an insurrection, as he believes himself to be as high as God. Rationality falls in love with its own creation and falls. Regulation creates unforeseen issues, which are papered over by more regulations. Eventually what we’re left with is a 20,000-page bill which is almost predestined to fail.

He’s speaking here of the Obamacare, which not only failed quicker than Galloping Gertie but was basically impossible to build, these designed pieces could not be made to fit. In my world, there is a chasm between the engineers, who can design the most amazing things, and the people who have to build them and make them work. Over 90% of the time, if built as designed, it won’t work, and can’t be made to. But good practical people can modify it, dink around and make it work, often better than the original design called for. It takes both.

The problem with people like Hillary, Obama, and a bunch of others, especially in Washington, is that they have no real world experience, they’ve lived their entire life off the government’s teat. The government produces nothing, and neither do the people who work for it (other, perhaps, than red tape and trouble) which they far too often use to hamstring the productive people who make a good life possible. Nothing new there, really, its always been that way.

Read his article, it’s a good one.

 

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

19 Responses to Strangling in Red Tape

  1. Reblogged this on Boudica2015.

    Like

  2. the unit says:

    I wonder why I already knew who Rube Goldberg was? 🙂
    Years ago (40+) I had a wealthy neighbor who was only home on weekends and sometimes not for several weeks at a time as his business and main home was in another city.
    One time while away a burglar entered through a entrance obscured from the street or any neighbor’s view.
    I built him a Rube Goldberg contraption to get a picture of the criminal if he came again.
    A toggle switch mounted to the door frame that clicked on when door opened. When clicked on activated electric circuit to a tape recorder with a tape of a police siren with volume set real high, simutaneously activating a BBQ grill rotisserie motor that when rotating pulled an attached rod that ran to one of those little ’70’s cameras with the flash cube and caused the camera which was attached to the wall with plumber’s pipe hanging strap, pointing towards the open door to snap a picture.
    I moved away a year or so later and the burglar hadn’t returned. But we had fun with it when he was there and told his invited guests to be sure to come on in when they arrived…through the obscured entrance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      They are fun, a lot of it, and his comics are hilarious. It happens to us all, really, when we try to cover all possible things. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        And Rube’s napkin continued to work with each pendulum swing. Mine was more like Wham, bamm, thank you Mam’am. One snap and flash, it over…except the siren. But you can’t eat soup forever. 🙂
        As for “Strangling in Red Tape”, the business man was quite the character. He owned a savings and loan and bragged his was the only savings and loan NOT insured by the federal government. I think he was just joking and didn’t actually advertise that way. However, as you know it was in part of the country where feds not popular. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Probably, still if he (and his staff) were good enough, it would be more profitable. S&L insurance, like FDIC, probably is not all that cheap. But the sheep like it. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Yeah. true for sure. He gone on now, son still operating that and other businesses so must be pretty competent by all, unless the local sheeple have kept buying the empty top half barrel. 🙂
          Got to admit, my bank was closed by FDIC where half my life’s savings were held couple of years ago. Glad I was grazing there with the sweet clover fed coverage. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, as programs go, it’s not one I think all that bad. Something similar is needed. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Kinda funny that now in FL my neighbor was a founder and heavy investor in my bank that closed. His investments weren’t covered by FDIC and he lost millions. He’s since died of heart failure.
          The FL guy was a nice guy though. Whereas the savings and loan guy wasn’t so much, in my opinion. Found out he was making compounded interest with my then wife while I was fishing. Stayed alert and home more with present wife here in FL. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, I hate when that happens. Too bad mine didn’t have enough sense to find a banker! 🙂

          Like

        • the unit says:

          I don’t mean its funny he died. After all, he wasn’t McCain. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Quite. Now there is quite the example of ego run wild. 🙂

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        • the unit says:

          Perhaps poor John suffers from the “Tyranny of Guilt”. Making amends to the “Black McCain’s” of MS.
          Who knows for sure how that works. 🙂
          https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/europe-immigration-identity-islam-douglas-murray-warns-of-dangers/news-story/cce6fc74cd80a27e75f1d0eacba3dfda

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, hard to say. I do wish he’d retired so we could just remember the hero he was. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          That’d be Lemon Pepper Posset! (British, you know) 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I mean that remembrance be good dessert for his remembrance if it had been that way. Retired, when should have. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, that’s pretty much what I meant, as well. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Us both! That makes it so. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yepper. 🙂

          Like

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