I believe it's only human nature to believe that if you have become wealthy that it
had to happen because you worked hard and you're smart. Then if you look at reality
it's often only because you were lucky. You just happened to be born into the right
family (Trump - or most wealthy people), you were in the right place at the right
time (Jeff Bezos and most early internet companies) or something else.
You can see this when someone makes it big with their start up. They'll get lucky
and, as an example, make a successful Cambridge based CDN then with their wealth try
and do the same exact business but now not even their website loads particularly fast
and gives off a bad first impression. If someone was smart and full of ideas then
surely they wouldn't do the same exact thing and assume it will work?
You can also see it with Andy Rubin and the Essential Phone
and many other successful founders. However, it's their money and it's fine if they
want to burn through it.
Where this is a problem is when people rely on these people to solve real problems such
as climate change or over reliance on cars. These two things are easily solvable with
a good government that cares about the greater good, creates the right regulations and
builds the right infrastructure.
So what is the common solution that the very wealthy have decided to focus on to
combat climate change? Do nothing and build rockets to go colonize Mars. It doesn't
take a genius to see even if you manage to figure out how to survive in man made
structures on Mars; what are you going to do for materials to repair things or
nutrition? Don't get me wrong, I think Space exploration is something humanity should
do but I think Nasa has this covered already and living there will never be realistic
without far more innovation than a rocket.
And what is the solution to cars? Cars are a service. Automated cars that just potter
around picking up anyone who wants it is perhaps marginally safer for cyclists
and pedestrians but it doesn't solve urban sprawl or problems we're slowly running
into like running out of concrete. Automated cars are just reinvented trains but
done in the most inefficient way.
But it's not just the mega wealthy with bad ideas that pose a problem. Many people
trying to solve health problems with code alone. Fine, you made your money writing code
and it's worked out. But you can't just solve everything with code. Doctors can see
this. Health is their expertise and that's why they're looking to Silicon Valley
and telling them to actually get out and spend time in hospitals
Many politicians share similar qualities with the aforementioned people. They're
trying to solve problems they never faced personally and without reaching out to
those who do and take their feedback to heart. They might as well be planning to
send people to Mars too.
People then don't get things they really want a nationalized rail service, a
more fair tax policy which includes cracking down on tax havens in your
furthest colonial outposts. This is most visible in the UK with its rampant
classism that creates a government full of people who've never really lived
in reality thanks to the luck of being born to the right parents. If the UK were
the sick man of Europe in the seventies, it's arguably the dead man of Europe now.
The US sadly is trending in the same direction. The Green New Deal would be a mighty fine start to start steering the US in the right
I also like the idea of aiming for the perfect. Then even if you compromise you
can end up with 60% maybe 80% of what you wanted and we're all better off for it.
When you see established democrats talk about compromise they show they're
in their place by luck rather than intelligence. Starting off asking for 40% of
what you want, because you're a good middle of the road compromiser, and then
further compromising down to 10% of what you want is what they do. If the Republicans
were as inept as they were then perhaps that system could work but they're not.