Saturday, February 24

Thoughts about events in other nations

With things so dire here (FBI/DOJ corruption under Obama, with holdovers continuing), I've been thinking about current events...elsewhere...and what lessons they would teach us.

There's a concept in engineering called "factor of safety."  You design any building or strucure or device for a lot higher load than you expect it will ever experience.  Reason is that undetectable flaws in a metal member, or a workman screwing up, or concrete that's ten percent weaker than the specs require, won't cause the thing to fail.

A similar concept is "design margin"--again, a kind of extra strength above the max calculated load.

History shows that societies eventually implode.  Thus it seems clear that in societies that are still working there must be some kind of "margin" that keeps the society from failing.

It also seems clear anyone who wants the society to survive should be highly opposed to anything that reduces this design margin.

Putting incompetent or corrupt people into positions of responsibility or power seems to be one of the factors that reduces the design margin.  For example, when the "old" government of South Africa turned the keys over to the communists of the African National Congress, the ANC apparatchiks started putting their supporters into positions of great responsibility: running the state electricity company, the state water company and the police, to name just three areas.

But to the surprise of...well, no one except the apparatchiks, really...the drones put in charge by the clueless apparatchiks had only the haziest idea of how to actually do the jobs to which they'd been appointed.  As far as they could see, the men who had previously held the position simply went into a big office, talked on the phone, drank coffee, and everything worked.  Like magic.

The average ANC supporter would therefore conclude, "Seems simple enough.  I can do it just as well!"

When the ANC took over, South Africa generated enough electricity to sell loads of it to surrounding countries.  Now it doesn't have enough to supply its own needs, and has instituted rolling blackouts.  No new reservoirs have been built since the ANC took over, and the country is almost out of water.  And it's having to import food.

The same thing happened in Venezuela:  Socialist/marxist Hugo Chavez decided he'd "expropriate" (a beautifully camouflaged communist euphemism for "seize") the assets of all foreign oil companies operating in the country.  Shortly thereafter most of the skilled production engineers and oilfield workers left the country.

No matter to Chavez:  He simply replaced them with his supporters.  After all, once someone has drilled an oil well, how hard could it be to get oil out of the ground?

Venezuela's oil output has fallen by over 1.5 million barrels per day since then.  Last time I checked, the state oil company had only managed to drill 3 wells in the whole year.

Hmmm...maybe there's more to it than just a big office and a name on the door, eh?

The communists/Democrats in the U.S. have an embryonic version of the same system, called "social promotion" and affirmative action.  These policies may have been well intended, and may well have produced a few success stories, but it's hard to see how hiring and promoting by race or party instead of skill could do anything other than erode the design margin.

Seems to me that hiring based on "diversity" or square-filling only works when the population being boosted by those policies is small enough that any lack of skill can be compensated for by people with more competence.  But what happens in nations like South Africa or Venezuela when the competent population has been decimated?

The previous president of South Africa--a communist thug by the name of Jacob Zuma--frequently sang a song at gatherings of his ANC supporters.  The song featured the verse "Get me my machinegun so I can kill the Boer."

Liberals in the U.S. forced the old government in SA to surrender the keys to the communists.  I suspect no U.S. liberal has ever given a single thought to the consequences of that decision.  

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