Sunday, July 31, 2011

What kind of fool was I?

Never found a compromise
Collected lovers like butterflies
Illusions of that grand first prize
are slowly wearing thin
Susy baby you were good to me
Giving love unselfishly
But you took it all too seriously
I guess it had to end

I was only joking my dear
Looking for a way to hide my fear
What kind of fool was I
I could never win

I was only joking | Rod Stewart

When I was in my early teens, I used to pour over album liner notes hoping to glean deep and wonderful secrets to the meaning of life and living from the philosopher song writers that I revered and cherished. Then I figured out they were just druggie kids that could spin a tune.

When I was in my early twenties, I used to pour over investment publications from Wall Street firms hoping to glean deep and wonderful secrets about business and industry and how the world economies worked. Then I figured out they were mostly coked up MBAs who never managed a real company or labored in a free market in their whole life.

When I was in my early thirties, I used to read the Fed publications hoping to glean an understanding of the macroeconomic models by the brain trusts that set interest policy for the world and arguably had more influence over the citizenry than the President of the USA. Then I figured out their models sucked, that macroeconomic theory is a lot like a religion, and that they in fact have really no idea WTF they are doing, but they are controlling interest rates and printing money.

I'm not sure why it took me so many decades to figure out that there is no brain trust that people can rely on. And maybe my naivete bespeaks a dark inner need to appeal to authority for direction or assurance, forever doomed to disappointment. Or maybe I was just erroneously taught that famous and influential institutions innately deserve our respect and compliance.

Whatever the cause or effect, I am sure my story is a common one. It is not like I'm recounting some outlier tale here, the product of some wayward cultural or psychological phenomenon.

What I do know is that since my admittedly belated epiphanies, I have been a strong proponent of flatter hierarchies and free markets ever since.

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