Parasitic failure feedback loops

I recommend reading George Will’s, Detroit’s Death by Democracy.

He starts with an analogy that I agree with and have used before:

The ichneumon fly inserts an egg in a caterpillar, and the larva hatched from the egg, he said, “gnaws the inside of the caterpillar, and though at last it has devoured almost every part of it except the skin and intestines, carefully all this time avoids injuring the vital organs, as if aware that its own existence depends on that of the insect on which it preys!”

Government employees’ unions living parasitically on Detroit have been less aware than ichneumon larvae.

He provides us with a good axiom on feedback and failure:

When there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate.

That’s something I encourage us to be aware of in all systems. What happens with failure? Is failure a negative reinforcing feedback (as it is in capitalism and sports) or a positive reinforcing feedback (as it is in government).

Then Will exposes the positive-reinforcing feedback loop:

Steven Rattner, who administered the bailout of part of the Detroit-based portion of America’s automobile industry, says, “Apart from voting in elections, the 700,000 remaining residents of the Motor City are no more responsible for Detroit’s problems than were the victims of Hurricane Sandy for theirs.” Congress, he says, should bail out Detroit because “America is just as much about aiding those less fortunate as it is about personal responsibility.”

There you have today’s liberalism: Human agency, hence responsibility, is denied. Apart from the pesky matter of “voting in elections” — apart from decades of voting to empower incompetents, scoundrels and criminals, and to mandate unionized rapacity — no one is responsible for anything.

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