March 27, 2009

Maximizing Uncertainty for Fun and Profit

People who have actually successfully managed something larger than their own images, such as former Intel CEO Andy Grove in his Washington Post Op-Ed "Mr. President, Time to Rein in the Chaos," have been urging President Obama to prioritize and concentrate. For example, Obama has been going out of his way to keep an immigration amnesty an open possibility, even though such an attempt would likely prove politically disastrous for him.

A reader explains why Grove's advice is naive:
There is an important observation to be made about what Obama is doing, and I wish that you would say something about it.

Suppose a new president came to Washington and said, "I basically won't change a thing. My motto is 'Business as Usual.'" What kind of attention would that president get from lobbyists? Obviously, none. Campaign donations would drop precipitously. Corporations would lay off their lobbyists.

The opposite of that is a practice of keeping all the balls in the air, with massive regulation proposals in the works for all major industries. Massive financial system reform! Massive healthcare reform! Massive energy reform! This gets every lobbyist involved. It maximizes the shakedown.

Shakedown is maximized as long as all the balls are kept in the air. Should any reform be settled, lobbying efforts could wind down.

Washington journalists love "Massive X reform." It's good for the local economy, and no doubt helps them collect bribes and gifts. What would they think of a president who said, "Business as usual?" They would hate him. He would be bad for the Washington journalism business.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

12 comments:

testing99 said...

Grove's advice is not naive. Your reader assumes that people (or interests, powerful ones) won't get tired of being shaken down, and do something about it.

The healthcare industry, MDs, and other interests basically did something about it in 1993, and again in 1994, when Clinton proposed Hillary Care.

Now, Obama proposes a massive cap and trade system, this time (his latest effort) through the UN, which he would merely sign a treaty that in his interpretation would bind us to move industrial production to China. He's also fighting Boeing over Missile Defense: it works, which is why he wants to cut it, and the thousands of jobs and patronage that system employs.

He's fighting people over Farmer's Markets, for crying out loud. Seeking to regulate them out of existence.

A small time shakedown artist as the leader of the country is a disaster. What was a nuisance at a local level (easier to pay them to go away) becomes a mortal threat that cannot be tolerated.

At a minimum, the Coal, Energy, transportation, real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, much of the rank and file of labor unions, financial, and retail sectors have mortal threats to their existence by Obama. He's making enemies, powerful ones, for no payoff.

Other than his own stupidity (Obama is not very smart, about 90 IQ) and feel-good catharsis in sticking it to "Whitey" and America.

Dog of Justice said...

(Obama is not very smart, about 90 IQ)

Oh, please. Are you TRYING to destroy your credibility?

I find your blog to be fairly insightful. So I must ask, do you have any idea what an IQ of 90 is actually like? What interviews with a 90 IQ president trying to maintain an illusion of competence would sound like? It's safe to say that Sarah Palin's IQ is above 100, and she had enough trouble.

There are plenty of legitimate objections to Obama. So please stop giving our side a bad name by advancing such a ridiculous one.

Anonymous said...

"I find your blog to be fairly insightful. So I must ask, do you have any idea what an IQ of 90 is actually like?"

Wait...T99 has a blog? What am I doing here?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Wait...T99 has a blog?


'Fraid so.

whiskeys-place.blogspot.com

jack strocchi said...

There is always a policy and a political aspect in every program.

Obama's programmatic plans for health, education and energy reform have some prima facie justification.

In energy the US needs to take the lead in controlling greenhouse emissions in order to prevent a meltdown of Greenland, Siberia and Antartica.

In health services it pays twice the OECD average in costs whilst receiving about half the value.

In education it has little alternative but to throw alot of money at minorities to prevent a repeat of what happened to the lower half of that section of the population from 1965-95.

Obama should also nationalise or simply outlaw the dysfunctional sectors of Wall Street. This is a no-brainer.

The GFC has revealed that this area of the economy is making money off, not for, investors. Also it would cost alot less than the current policy which is a never-ending cycle of booms, busts and bail-outs.

These are all policies that would benefit most Americans, directly or indirectly.

Conservatives should concentrate on attacking any sign of cultural liberalism in Obama's program. Plus agitate for improved border protection.

Strong fences make good neighbours.

Anonymous said...

In energy the US needs to take the lead in controlling greenhouse emissions in order to prevent a meltdown of Greenland, Siberia and Antartica.

Which one--water vapor? That's a far more potent "greenhouse emission" than CO2, a substance without which life on Earth would be impossible.

What is the optimal level of atmospheric CO2? Please provide your calculations for critique.

And I love this crap about how the US "must take the lead." WTF? Like the US is some grimy redoubt of smokestacks and raw materials refinement.

--Senor Doug

Anonymous said...

There's that, and there's the fact that he has practically zero executive skills so he just runs a permanent campaign (Jay Leno! Virtual town hall! Take the Obama pledge!)

Come to think of it, he's not a task-oriented/detail-oriented professional either. He was on that grown-up version of yearbook a/k/a law review, but I'm guessing he wasn't on the team that stayed in the library 'til 3 a.m. shepardizing and doing cite checks. I hear he really was in a private firm for a year or two but that's not long enough to figure out what it means to practice law as a for-profit enterprise.

There's also his appalling humorlessness and lack of social savvy. Really, I don't know what particular skill set the guy has other than being a relatively handsome mulatto with a deep voice. Too bad he lacks the rote memorization skills and grasp of technical detail to to be an actor.

How much are we paying this guy?

--Senor Doug

josh said...

Ok,checked out testings blog,very interesting. But where does he get the ides that Obamma has a 90 IQ?? All of O'B's records have been conveniently locked away in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnals porch,to be exhumed only when and if O'B gets out of line.His blubbering and stuttering and extremely boring speech patterns suggest he doesnt know what the hell he is talking about;but not a 90 IQ.

Ronduck said...

testing99 said...

He's also fighting Boeing over Missile Defense: it works, which is why he wants to cut it, and the thousands of jobs and patronage that system employs.

That is probably why after Watergate when the Dems got a majority in Congress the whole missile defense system of the time was killed. I wouldn't be surprised if Ted Kennedy decided we needed to kill it in order to appear less threatening to the Soviet Union.

Testing, please understand that Obama doesn't want to shake the country down, he wants to end it.

Anonymous said...

jack strocchi says:


In energy the US needs to take the lead in controlling greenhouse emissions in order to prevent a meltdown of Greenland, Siberia and Antartica.


Whoa, dude, that's some powerful stuff you been smokin'.

Where you be gettin' it?

Mr. Anon said...

"jack strocci said

There is always a policy and a political aspect in every program.

Obma's programmatic plans for health, education and energy reform have some prima facie justification.

In energy the US needs to take the lead in controlling greenhouse emissions in order to prevent a meltdown of Greenland, Siberia and Antartica."

Assuming anthropogenic warming is even true. And even it if is, the last group I would trust to do anything about it is the U.S. government or the U.N.

"In education it has little alternative but to throw alot of money at minorities to prevent a repeat of what happened to the lower half of that section of the population from 1965-95."

I.e., to prevent a repeat of what happened the last time we threw a lot of money at minorites.

Your policy prescriptions are cracked.

I for one welcome Obama's overreach if it will lead to him accomplishing very little at all - very little is what I want the government to do.

anony-mouse said...

The Simpson's episode where the members of Springfield's chapter of Mensa take over.

Writ large.