Why don't I have a custom title by now?!
Carmack is an engineer, and he thinks like an engineer. Everything is about efficiency for him, and efficiency as measured by one single number, whether it be framerate in a computer game or return on investment in a government program.
And that is where he fails. Like everybody else who confuses the real world with a spreadsheet. Guess what, genius: money isn't real. Money is an abstraction. It's a number which is fundamentally meaningless. By building our society around the concept of money as judge, jury, and executioner of all our enterprises and the very way we live, we build for ourselves an infernal machine which throws us continually into chaos and misery, as it allows corrupt managers, criminals, and speculators to play with the lives and wellbeing of millions without giving it any afterthought.
By measuring only short-term return on investment, we blind ourselves to everything that isn't measured directly in money, and everything that is long-term. The purpose of government programs is to be useful on the long-term. You know the motto, "think of the children"? Yeah, that's where it's supposed to kick in, not for censorship campaigns. Things like taking drastic measures to reduce pollution, even if it may mean the destruction of countless jobs which are built around the wasteful spending of hydrocarbons because in the short-term it's cheaper than building different infrastructures.
The way modern companies are managed is always disastrous on the long term, because it doesn't matter. Limited responsibilities, baby! Get a company that works, send it on a course that will maximize its profits on the short term while dooming it on the long term (for example, outsource everything so that your labor costs are massively decreased, but this results in your subcontractors acquiring your technology and know-how so that they'll become your competitors tomorrow), and get away with the treasury just before it starts losing money. Then once it's bankrupt, you don't care, you get to keep your money because your responsibility is limited. It's the company that owes money, not you. Yeah!
And this strategy is exactly what most people who think countries should be managed like companies are "because the private sector is more efficient" tend to adopt when managing their own companies. Look at Carmack himself and how he managed to foist the expensive and useless id Software to ZeniMax. He saw that his company was going nowhere, and he jumped ship.
You know what? It turns out the private sector is more efficient because it can always manage to eventually foist its failures on the public sector, either directly through a bailout or indirectly just by going bankrupt, creating massive unemployment and loss of revenue for the population, causing the government to have to intervene with social welfare and entitlement programs.
The public sector is inefficient BECAUSE the private sector is inefficient. If these private businesses were really as efficient as they claim to be, there wouldn't be a need for a welfare state. And if you look at how things go, the freer the market is, the more welfare programs are needed. Why do you think the welfare state concept appeared in the UK to begin with? The UK was also the first country who went in the direction of "all market, all the time; property is sacrosanct, human life isn't", notably cutting off many traditional rights which allowed the poor to thrive (like gleaning).
When you look at it, at the core, the idea that the state is inefficient really translate to one single thing: "I want rich people to get richer and poor people to get poorer".
Kontra Kommando said:
The government should promote the opportunity for people to enrich themselves; Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.
Sophistry. It isn't possible for everybody to be rich. Because richness is a relative concept. Suppose some fairy Godmother twirls her magic wand and everybody on Earth, without any exception, receives one free billion dollars. Everybody is now rich, isn't it? No, it just made dollars worthless, and everybody is now poorer than they were before.
In practice, most people would fail to enrich themselves. Maybe because they'd think there are other things more important to pursue than wealth. The modern Mammonite psychopath of course would deem them losers who deserves squalor and misery because, by not putting the accumulation of money as their number one priority, they are disrespecting our One True Lord and Savior, Money.
To put it another way, teach a man to fish, and he'll be beaten up by the river's monopolistic owner who wants to be paid with ten fish firsthand to allow the would-be fisher to use his river for one quarter of an hour. Also the river is polluted anyway and all the fishes are dead.
Last edited by Gez on 01-23-14 at 15:11