Tuesday 2011-02-08

Reading ribbonfarm's post on bronze vs iron reminded me of a SaturdayHouse conversation about companies needing Management Fads because some individuals want to change the status quo, and the destabilizing force of a new idea helps them move people.

ribbonfarm mentions Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, which was used by elements in the United States military-industrial complex as a rationale for the US to build out an impressive navy. Regardless of whether you think Mahan's argumentation had merit, his ideas were used to champion change.

It seems quite rare to find someone in an organization who champions an idea that diminishes their role, responsibility, or budget. Imagine that you have a position in a government, and you have two ideas in front of you; one implies an expansion of your budget, the other reduces it. Which idea will you trumpet?

How much does this effect bias our political discourse? No clue. It gives me pause, though, when it seems like I only ever hear Keynesian economics from politicians. Or only hard anti-crime rhetoric from police. Or when all the solutions on the table involve some form of increased regulation.