In the Daily Reckoning newsletter editor Callum Newman uses Malcolm Gladwell’s description of power relationships to draw a parallel between Korean pilots crashing planes into mountains and the economy, pointing out our politicians are like distracted, doomed aviators ignoring the obvious features they about to collide with.
Is that fair though? In a plane the passengers are strapped in their seats and have to take their the pilots in trust, in real life we have control — all of our actions affect the vehicle that is our economy.
Unlike a plane we can jump out and do our own thing, we can refuse to buy one good or service and we can set up a business for ourselves when we see a market that isn’t being serviced.
Where the analogy does work though is our politicians – and many business leaders – aren’t paying attention to major demographic and economic shifts.
The question is “why?” Most of these people aren’t stupid and they have access to better information than most of us, which is one of the reasons they are in power.
Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to hear the truth; that our assumptions about what the state will provide and how our economy is developing are flawed.
In many ways, particularly in a modern Western democracy, our politician are mirrors of ourselves. They tell is what they think we’d like to hear.
The problem isn’t in the cockpit, it’s back at the boarding gate where we’re more worried whether we’ll get a packet of nuts than whether we should agree to embark on a rough journey to a destination we don’t expect.