Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wisdom in the Waiting Room

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge." Daniel J. Borstein

You have to keep yourself open to what Oprah calls the "Ah ha!" moment.

There are many other places I would rather spend than in the doctor's office waiting room. Thumbing through the August 10th edition of Time Magazine (not one of the 15 magazines I subscribe to) was this article- The Avenging Amateur by Kurt Anderson , who continued Bornstein's thought with

"The American spirit really is the amateur spirit. "

Our founders rebelled against a professional political class. They envisioned citizen -legislators.

Not to deny the need for experts we need to retain the balance between those who provide expertise and common sense. Experts have given us not just solutions. Experts are who created levels of financial crisis no amateur could envision.

Experts have exasperated the effects of drought on the ability of the California Farmer to provide sustenance to us all. Experts then helped the destitute farming communities of once productive fields by sending them food grown in foreign countries.

The problem with relying on government experts is they are focused only on the goals of the agency which cuts their paycheck They are trained to think within boxes- blinders on to unintended consequences- and in the environmental departments- are without responsibility to human priority.

This is not a new concern. Over a decade ago, at a public meeting, the man Lewis MacAdams described in the July, 2005 issue of Los Angeles Magazine as perhaps the most powerful unelected official in California, the the only executive director in the 25-year history of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Joe Edmiston exuberantly explained, "There is lots of money to finagle... if you are just willing to be creative enough."

To those who had trouble understanding what the harm was in granting Czar-like power to unelected officials when the cause is sheltered by the umbrella of good intentions- I give to you exhibit A. The California Debt.

The full text of the article referenced can be read at,9171,1913776,00.html
Andersen is the author of Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America, which originated as a TIME cover story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Or. Sue