We all love simple solutions, and they can be wrong. Why do some work and others not? It has to do with the nature of the problem. We often fail to notice the problem in its depth, and with that viewpoint, simple answers seem plausible.
The thing we must come to grips with is this. Complex problems don’t have simple answers.
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” H. L. Mencken
You cannot know by looking at the proposed solution. You must look at the problem. If it is complex, and most are, the simple answer is wrong. Always and everywhere. Simple problems have been solved long ago.
Take poverty as an example of a complex problem. If you see the problem as poor people have too little money, then the answer will be simple. Hand over some money. That it doesn’t make the problem go away will, no doubt, shock you, and so bigger infusions become necessary. That doesn’t work either and there seems to be more poor people than before. This solution meets Mencken’s standard. It cannot work because the problem is more complex than just the shortage of money. It is about finding the cause of the money shortage. Never treat symptoms when you can address a cause.
It is a little easier to think about if you think about the ways there are to have money. Invert the problem.
We all know those, but some people excuse their avoiding them by using magical thinking, or by blaming others or society for their inability to do the obvious. Poverty is the result of failig to follow simple and obvius rules.
Some are externally imposed
Other factors are on you
The external ones are important and there should be support to deal with those. Other behaviours encourage having no money. The common ones:
Simple solutions to complex problems get in the way and waste resources. Given that simple answers are costly and wrong, politicians must still present them. Low skill, low information, voters are not going to work at understanding complexity, so to them, the simple answer looks good enough. More complex offerings, and probably more right, don’t seem to do enough for the people. Expedient is not usually a good solution.
Politicians do not feed back tweak results because that hurts them. Until voters start noticing outcomes, reading past the headline, and examine the people rather their public face, the problem will remain.
Every complex problem should be addressed by seeking the cause of the cause and then moving ever deeper
How do you recognize an ideologue? They have a simple answer to any complex problem.
You knew that too, but each of us still falls for the simple answer.
I help people have more income and larger, more liquid estates.
Call or email firstname.lastname@example.org or in Canada 705-927-4770