Maybe it’s just what I read but today I’m seeing a recurring theme. It’s something I tell my clients fairly frequently: if you idiot-proof something, they will build a better idiot. The response to a work process that’s too cocooned it to become lazy and neglectful. You’ve got to walk a narrow line between letting your employees be more creative and industrious and allowing your lowest-level employees to set company policy.
When you bail out companies that have made dumb mistakes or are just too weak to survive, either by direct government subsidy or the soft, indirect subsidy of asset inflation, as complained about here, it doesn’t build stronger companies. It builds weak, dependent, stupid ones. When real white collar criminals, as complained about in this New Republic article, are treated the same as people who didn’t file their paperwork on time, not only will you get more criminal behavior by thugs who use pens (or keyboards) rather than their fists but you’ll foster the view that there are two standards of justice—one for the rich and another for the poor.
When every kid “succeeds” but nobody actually succeeds and you never allow people to hit rock bottom as a consequence of their own fecklessness, a lot more people will aim for it.
I don’t know the solution to all of this better than anyone else does. But I do think there is a problem.