Sunday, October 11, 2009

Musical chairs for incompetents

Today's a busy day for me, but I did catch a good column by Frank Rich:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11rich.html?th&emc=th .

Why do so many Americans continue to listen to leaders and pundits who are almost invariably proved wrong?

They're like baseball managers: a handful of men who manage teams until they have a bunch of losing seasons; they are then fired, only to take up the same jobs on different teams. It's sort of musical chairs where the losers somehow keep circulating until they get too old and feeble to make the circuits any more. Of course, for the U.S., military adventures are not a game: they kill lots of people and always cost at least 10 times what they are promised to cost.

Imagine if Medicare actually had an overrun anything like, say, the cost of the Iraq war. The latter was supposed to cost about $50 billion, largely repaid with Iraqi oil funds. Instead, it cost at least a trillion dollars. You really don't need a calculator to find ($1 trillion)/($50 billion) = 20. That's a 2000% misestimate. Why do we trust anyone having anything to do with this kind of error ever again?

(Was there ever any reason to think that John McCain, who was shot down while bombing invisible civilians from the air, had any particular understanding of anything, much less military matters?)

We should have started by kicking every hawk, from Viet Nam through Granada to Iraq, out of every decision-making post in our government. But no -- these losers continue to play their musical chairs game over and over.

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