Theory Versus Reality

This excellent blog post is a reminder of that old joke the difference between theory and reality. Anyone familiar with business analyst types knows exactly why ObamaCare is collapsing. In the dreaded private sector, there are people who are experts on business theory, marketing their technology theory and so on. They make a nice living creating models of reality that can never exist in the real world. What they never do, of course, is run an actual enterprise that exists in the real world.

Government, free of the need to turn a profit, are loaded with these sorts of experts and theorists. The army of health care experts and policy wonks has been desperate to test out their theories on the American public for decades. The result is a system that incorporates all of the latest fads. This is the norm in all government initiates. Anyone who has worked on a government project knows the drill. The design included in the original contract fails on contact with reality. Then bids go out to fix it.

Social democracies like ours take this approach with all projects. It is why government seems to be getting increasingly inept. Fifty years ago NASA could go from zero to moon landing in five years. Seventy years ago America went from no army and in depression to conquering the world while beating Hitler and Tojo within a decade. Today, they can’t build a website in five years. Here we are 12 years on and the World Trade Center is not completed. The Empire State building was built in a year, start to occupancy.

Contra the blogger, it is not just technology. It is everything. Obama announced last week that he and his team were stunned to learn that insurance is complicated. Amazingly, he thought this was an insight. How is it possible that an American could possibly have made it to adulthood not knowing this? That’s the reality of political class. They are so divorced from reality that they are stunned to learn that insurance is completed. The administrative layer is even more oblivious to the reality of the modern world.

That’s the lesson here with ObamaCare. The people in charge only have a vague understanding of how our highly complex modern society works. They know America through polling, policy debates and campaigning. The political class is thoroughly insulated from the land over which they rule. Because these people are inoculated from the consequences, they can be cavalier in their ignorance. Their loyalties, however, are to the political class as evidenced by the Census and IRS scandals.

In that regard, ObamaCare is emblematic of what’s wrong and a good proxy for what we can expect going forward.