Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dems Start to Pivot, But How?

You heard it here first. In the July/August 2017 The Atlantic two Democratic operatives with bylines (© Glenn Reynolds) are starting the pivot away from Trump-Russia-Trump 24-7.

Frankline Foer notes that dear old Bill Clinton was right on the white working class thing back in 2015. And Peter Beinart has an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand piece about immigration, the choice between diversity and unity.

OK, you say. How in the Sam Blazes are the Democrats -- that have spent 50 years since Archie Bunker calling the white working class racist, sexist bigots -- going to do this? And how is the Democratic Party that never saw an illegal immigrant it didn't like going to get all flag-happy about people born on the Fourth of July right here in the good old US and A?

All I can say is, just watch 'em. Before you can say Walter Cronkite there will be chin stroking elite journalists all over TV telling you that that's the way it is about how Donald Trump has betrayed the white working class and how all the Republican flag-waving of the last half century is actually a betrayal of everything America stands for.

That's what you can do when you are the ruling class and nobody is allowed to hear a discouraging word from the opposition. You will read The New York Times and never get to read a piece about activists demanding trans-gender cake-baking rights. It will all just go down the memory hole, and good little girls will be asking their conservative friends, with a grimace to indicate their utter sincerity, about the new hate and the new hyphenated phobia cooked up fifteen minutes ago by progressive activists.

Still, it might be a stretch to actually turn on a dime. Old stager Wesley Pruden rehearses the difficulties in this piece.
Some of the Democratic messages, which have been dispatched with such sound and fury are that “straight” folks and particularly straight white men, are so bad they’re not entitled to rights, civil or otherwise. Cops are all bad because they’ve set out to wipe out black folks, and therefore it’s OK to kill as many cops as possible.
Free speech is cool, and everyone should be able to say anything, anywhere, as long as it’s approved by the liberal canon, except that it’s not cool to say “liberal” anymore because somebody stunk up the word and all the liberals are now “progressives.”
Then he segues to Democratic officeholders urging caution and the need to win elections.

And really, I can't feel that the problem is that hard. Pretty soon the Democrats will hit upon some new program offering free stuff, and the voters will start voting for it. Maybe it will be free college, or free health care, or free child-care, or free vacations, or free housing, or free assisted living, or free driverless cars.

Yeah! How come Republicans don't want people to have driverless cars! Are they mean or just stupid?

Who cares? Humans like free stuff and they will vote for the man that offers it to them, whether he is a Viking chieftain offering their longship crews loot and slaves, or a Columbus offering his men the gold of Eldorado, or a Samuel Gompers who offered his union members "more," or a Barack Obama offering an Affordable Care Act that will lower your insurance premium by $2,500 per year.

It is just the dumb middle class that imagines a world of responsibility and private property and savings and marriage and children. Who cares about them?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Democrats: Forget Impeachment, It Ain't 1973 Any More

I suppose that if you are a Democrat of a certain age the heady days of the Nixon Impeachment are a golden memory, when the good guys won and the disgusting McCarthyite Nixon got what was coming to him. Remember what he did to Helen Gahagan Douglas!

But I have to tell my Democratic friends that it ain't 1973 any more. The reason is encapsulated in the key moments of the Nixon Impeachment and the Clinton Impeachment, and what we racist sexist homophobes took away from them.

In 1974 the graybeards in the US Senate, Sens. Goldwater (R-AZ) and Scott (R-PA) went to the White House and there joined with Rep. Rhodes (R-AZ). They told President Nixon that he had 12-15 votes against impeachment in the US Senate. So Nixon decided to resign.

In 1998 the President of the Senate, Al Gore, went to the White House right after the Republican House had impeached President Clinton and held a pro-Clinton rally. And so the Senate failed to convict Clinton of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now if you  are a Democrat, you might think: Ha, just shows you what racist sexist homophobes Republicans were in the 1990s. Back in the good old days, responsible Republicans knew the right thing to do and did it.

Are you  still reading, Democratic friends? If so here is how a Republican like me looks back on this. To me, it looks like Nixon was driven out of office on a technicality, by trying to cover up a stupid crime by his operatives, and the Republican Party leaders -- used to being in the minority for the previous 30 years -- behaved like whipped puppies. But when it came to the Clinton Impeachment it looks like the Democrats took an attitude of my party right or wrong, and defended Clinton to the last ditch. My party right or wrong: is that the same as "my country right or wrong?"

So I look on the present campaign against President Trump as a vile trumped up monstrosity, one half Deep State and one half Democratic oppo researchers. And I expect the Republicans in the House and the Senate to defend Trump to the last man.

I look at Tea Party groups being harassed by the IRS while private-server Hillary Clinton goes free and I want blood. I look at Scooter Libby being dragged through the mire for a confusion about statements to the FBI while corruptocrats like Maxine Waters go free and I want blood.

Like I say, there is no such thing as justice, only injustice. What  I mean by that is that anyone in politics should forget about being the angel of mercy, the agent of justice. Because that is not how the people on the receiving end experience your mercy and justice. So when you are in power and nobly implementing your vision of justice, helping to bend the arc of history, you might spare a thought for the people whose toes you are stomping on. Government is force, and every government program is an expression of force, i.e., injustice. Every legislative act is a statement of "no more Mr. Nice Guy, it is time for brass knuckles and force."

That is why conservatives say that the government is best that governs least. That's a quote from Thoreau, of all people. Imagine lefty liberal environmentalists thinking things like that today!

So I think that liberals are making a strategic mistake by imagining that they are going to impeach Trump and drive him from office. Anyone who isn't living in the liberal bubble is sick to the back teeth of liberal lawlessness, liberal privilege, liberal hate mobs, liberal hypocrisy, liberal injustice, liberal fake news. That's why we voted for Donald Trump to drain the swamp.

It's natural for liberals to be in denial after the shock of November 2016, as it is natural for children to act out after Daddy took the toys away. But it is time for liberals to realize that we deplorables have been electing Ted Cruzes and Donald Trumps for a reason. The reason is that we want our representatives to fight liberal injustice to the knife.

If Republicans were to allow a Trump impeachment and trial it would probably blow up the Republican Party and get it replaced by something else. And believe me, Democrats: you don't want that.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Liberal Tries to Figure It Out

In the aftermath of the GA06 special election Democrats are trying to figure out how to thread the needle to victory. Up until now their tactic seems to have been anti-Trump all the time.

Only, it turns out that Jon Ossoff ran as a moderate not a blazing anti-Trump radical, while Handel ran as an anti-Pelosi fanatic. Go figure.

So here comes Damon Linker in The Week trying to figure it all out. He realizes that full-on Bernie democratic socialism plus full-on immigration-abortion-gender-bending ain't gonna do it.
This would seem to imply that the most electorally formidable leftist candidate would combine Bernie Sanders' economic populism [Medicare-for-all, free college tuition, and sharp tax hikes for the wealthy] with modest immigration restrictions (Socialism for Citizens) and Bill-Clinton-style moderation on social issues (keeping abortion "safe, legal, and rare"). 
He's probably right, since this position represents a slightly lefty version of Trumpism, one that is lighter on the economic populism and heavier on the immigration restrictions. But then, Linker adds, there is the problem of the missing left-leaning voters. Why are these people staying at home?

Well, maybe it's because they got their welfare and they got their Medicaid and they got their EBT so what's not to like?

When you think about it the Democratic agenda assumes that you are either a rich kid wanting some street action or a helpless victim that can't even get out of bed in the morning to go apply for a job. But most Americans are people that want a growing economy with jobs, jobs, jobs, and help from the government if things turn south. Because most Americans are not Millennials in their parents' basement or single-parent welfare recipients. They are trying to navigate the internet economy and raise their kids and maybe save for retirement, and it's hard.

And here's the thing. You liberals are supposed to be the educated evolved ones. Well, in proposing Medicare-for-all you are piling a new program on top of the regulated special-interest mess you already created with 50 years of liberal politics that started with Medicare/Medicaid in 1965. Here's the chart from usgovernmentspending.com:

So. Government healthcare has gone from one percent GDP to 8 percent GDP and you chaps want more?

The same goes for free college. You guys are already spending a trillion a year on education, and now you want more?

This is the problem of the administrative state. The settled science says that it stinks, because it can't adapt to new situations or fix its existing problems. But liberals want to double down.

There are two problems with this. First is the liberal conceit that "we are the evolved ones." If you chaps don't accept the verdict of science, that the administrative state is a horrible idea that makes things worse, then you are not the evolved elitists you think you are. Second is the crude vote-buying. Surely you liberals have a better idea than merely pandering to the universal human appetite for free stuff?

Because when the administrative state collapses, as in the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Venezuela, it will be the poor that will starve first.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Democrats Hit Reality After GA06

Judging by The New York Times our liberal friends are all getting together to blame Nancy Pelosi for her failure to turn a mildly Republican House seat over to the Democrats in Tuesday's special election.

Reading all the reactions to the Democratic defeat I got to thinking. First of all there is my definition of government that I developed here. It goes:
Government is an armed minority occupying territory and taxing the inhabitants thereof to reward its supporters.
And that is all. I developed the talking point from the ideas of St. Augustine, Mao Zedong, and British politician Norman Tebbit. I also threw in Max Weber, so it must be right.

But one thing I missed out, that came through in the aftermath of GA06 and the victory of the very ordinary Karen Handel. Your average armed minority wants to clothe itself in the "decent drapery" of a saving truth. It does not want to think that it is just a band of political robbers, but members of a highly principled movement that is only reduced to using force to bend the arc of history towards justice because of the evil abroad in the land: landlords, capitalists, racists, sexist, homophobes.

Actually, that's not quite right. If you are a Cesar Chavez or a Joseph Stalin you really don't care about the "decent drapery." You are pretty clear that you are interested in power and anyone in your way is going to be wasted. But even they need an enemy that has to be defeated and destroyed.

However, if you are a rich kid, whether a Karl Marx, a Herbert Marcuse, or one of our modern day progressives that wants to get into activism, you really need your "decent drapery" to cover the nakedness of your grab for power. Never mind that the "decent drapery" is really a provocative getup that is significant for what it reveals rather than what it hides.

However, everyone is human, including especially political activists, so it is understandable that since the election the disappointed Democrats are all beating up on Trump and evil Republican racists, sexists, and homophobes rather than tempting the voters with provocative new free stuff.

Nevertheless, in the final analysis politics is not about me and my feelings; it is about doing what it takes to win elections. So the Good Little Liberal Girl at the Ossoff campaign HQ that was captured in tears when she learned of her candidate's defeat makes the point. Don't get mad (or tearful), get even.

And the point was made by the Democratic big cheeses quoted in The New York Times waking up to the fact that their Blame Trump message was not working. So, echoing Disraeli in his political novels, they were basically asking "what is our cry?" That is what the political operatives Taper and Tadpole always wanted to know in Coningsby and Sybil. In modern political speak the Tapers and the Tadpoles talk about "our messaging." As in:
Democrats scrambled to regroup on Wednesday after a disappointing special election defeat in Georgia, with lawmakers, activists and labor leaders speaking out in public and private to demand a more forceful economic message heading into the 2018 elections.
Of course, the question is: do the persuadable voters want to hear that the government will grow the economy to create jobs, or do they want to hear that the government will tax the rich to provide them with bigger benefits? I have to say that I don't know the answer to that. Indeed, that is why we have elections, to let the voters decide who they want to be their rulers.

Because, as Joseph Schumpeter wrote 70 years ago, under Democracy, the people do not get to rule. They just get to select who will rule over them. Actually, they don't even get to do that. They get to vote for Four More Years or for Time for a Change. And that is all.

Although I don't know what the voters think I can tell you what the settled science says. It says that letting the economy grow to create more jobs is how we got the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years. Giving out free stuff is what conquerors and pirates -- and now socialists and progressives -- have done since the dawn of time. And it doesn't create wealth; it just takes it from one set of people and gives it to another.

Until it runs out of other peoples' money.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chelsea Clinton Proves My Two Cultures Theory

I am a theory guy, and I am always trying to think up cute theories to explain the human condition. Like my Three Peoples theory.

But I also have a theory about the basic culture of men and women. Men have a Culture of Insult and women have a Culture of Complaint.

What I mean is that men relate to each other by insults, from the harmless barroom banter up to the fighting words that can only be decided by pistols at dawn across the Hudson at Weehawken, New Jersey. But women are the eternal complainers, which I characterize in the eternal whine: "I can't believe she said that."

That is all very well, you may say, but what about a real world illustration of this wild-eyed theory?

Thank you Senator. I am glad you asked that.

To illustrate my theory I offer the tweets of Chelsea Clinton, Princess of the Blood. They were made in response to a comment by the handsome and talented Steve Bannon about White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Asked why Sean Spicer wasn't appearing on camera, Bannon said "Sean got fatter." Then Chelsea Clinton chimed in.
The White House using fat shaming to justify increased opacity. 2017.
See what I mean? The Steve Bannon comment was classic guy talk: in other words a joshing insult. If these chaps were Irish from Worcester, Mass., the insult would have concluded with a friendly "yer bastard."

But Chelsea Clinton is a woman, for all that she is the daughter of her mother and a princess of the blood. One might say precisely because she is the daughter of her mother. So she utters the classic female "I can't believe he said that" complaint.

Now it is my belief that the reason for the Two Cultures is the profoundly different roles that evolution has carved out for men and women. The essence of being a man is male honor, which James Bowman defines in Honor: A History as the reputation among men for courage, for standing in line of battle with his brother soldiers. Thus the worst insult a man can suffer is an attack on his courage. But honor among women is the reputation for chastity. I do not mean just sexual chastity, but purity in all its possibilities. The accusation: "I can't believe she said that" is an attack on another woman's chastity, her reputation of being a good woman. It is one step away from saying that the other woman is a bitch. But typically a woman will never say that to another woman's face. Instead she will "share" with her friend that "she can't believe that this other woman said that," implying that the other woman is a bitch. And the friend will smile and agree with the complainer. Then she will go off and "share" with her friends what her friend just said and say "I can't believe she said that."

Obviously the whole campus froufra about "microaggressions" and "safe spaces" and
"mansplaining" and so on are pure examples of the woman's Culture of Complaint.

But it is my instinct that you cannot conduct matters in the public square according to the woman's Culture of Complaint. Also I suspect that institutions conducted according to the woman's Culture of Complaint will come to a bad end. That's because I think that a basic frankness and honesty is required to conduct public business, and that an absence of this frankness and its substitution by whispering behind other peoples' backs will harm and ultimately destroy the institution.

But let us do the Eisenhower thing, knowing that if we have a problem we cannot solve, the answer is to make it bigger.

In my view the whole intersectionality movement is a flailing admission that the sexual revolution was a disaster for women. Women are not sexual adventurers and never will be. Women are not the equal of men in the simulated warfare of the political or corporate battlefield, and never will be. Men are fighters and designed to be warriors in the eternal border wars of the tribe. But now that border wars don't matter any more we humans have found other things for men to do that use the talents and instincts of the border warrior. Women are lovers and carers, designed to keep the kids alive until it is time for them to leave the nest, and they always will be. But now that a woman's life is not wholly consumed with childcare we have come up with other caring things for women to do, from nursing to HR to charitable work. But I am sorry: most women are not cut out for battling for corporate market-share. Many women can do it at a pinch, but it makes them look ridiculous.

Here is a real world example of what I mean.

As Steve Sailer has written, women started disappearing from tech about the time, in the early 1980s, that computing stopped being a career and became an adventure. You don't see women in tech start-ups because tech start-ups are reckless expeditions across uncharted oceans, and there is no room for a Culture of Complaint when you have one day's food left and you are a month away from port.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Reign of Liberal Injustice

Ever since the French Revolution the left has been all about Justice. So whatever the issue, whether workers, women, blacks, gays, and now Muslims, conservatives have always been put on the defensive. Who could be against Justice?

At the beginning of each push for justice, the left had a point. The workers worked long hours in miserable conditions back in 1850. Women did not have formal political rights in 1900. Blacks did not have full civil rights in 1950. Gays could not marry in 2000. Something had to be done.

But then there is my notion that there is no such thing as justice. Only injustice.  If it is true, then it would not be surprising to learn that leftist politics leads not to justice but injustice.

Here is an example of what I mean. A young Jewish kid back in the 1980s is lectured by a black preacher about Affirmative Action. If you fold a piece of paper, the preacher said, and then straighten it, the fold is still there. You need to fold the paper the other way to take the fold out.

This is to make the point that in order to erase an old injustice the only just thing to do is to create a new injustice. I don't think so.

But first let us stipulate the basic fact about our age, the Great Enrichment. Back in 1800 per-capita income in the US, adjusted for inflation, was $3 per day. Today in 2017 it is $144. In other words, per-capita income in the US is about 50 times what is was back in 1800. As Deirdre McCloskey writes, there has been nothing like it, ever.

The left argues that it is its education programs, its wage and hour laws, its emancipation of women, its civil rights for minorities that has brought people out of want and marginalization. Really? So has leftist politics made people 50 times more prosperous and liberated? I don't think so. Politics had nothing to do with the Great Enrichment. It merely rode it and took credit for it.

In fact all along, right up until the present moment, all the people in the know have known that nothing but disaster faced us in the future. That  is what Marx was predicting in 1850. Right now they are saying that Amazon is carpet-bombing the economy, or that training programs can't hope to retrain older workers and keep them in the workforce. So we need new government programs -- just what I can't imagine -- to force the economy to... well, to do something.

I argue that the left's program of "refolding" the fold to reverse the legacy of injustice is nothing but simple injustice, and that it only makes things worse.

Let's start with the workers and the wage-and-hours laws and union legislation that began in the 19th century. Do  we know what the workers wanted back then? Did they want to work eight hours a day, or did they want the money from a ten-hour day? We do know that the reason children worked was, usually, because that was the only way to get food in their bellies. Whenever parents could afford it, they sent their children to school instead of to work. Union legislation seemed like a  good idea, but it ended up letting the workers loot the corporation. That's why basic steel companies and auto companies in the US are shadows of their former selves.

And the main point here is that the workers were walking as fast as they knew how from the country to the jobs in the city. Why was that? Today the same thing is happening in China, where something like 12 million people a year are moving from the country to the city. And of course it is happening right now with the migration from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and the US. Living in a crowded tenement or a Grenfell Tower apparently is a small price to pay for getting out of the countryside. I wonder why that is? Could it be the grinding work or the grinding poverty in the countryside?

Either way, the left's good intentions have turned into manifest injustice as the white working class dies of despair after the collapse of the good jobs at good wages in unionized manufacturing. I wonder what would have happened if we hadn't racked up  a stew of privileges for "organized labor" and instead allowed the natural dynamism of the market to direct management and labor into other channels?

Let us look at women. As Georg Simmel wrote a century ago, women have been moving into the public square and they have been adjusting the public square to suit their more feminine sensibility. The reason they have been moving into the public square is that work has become less physical and more social, and that home work, from washing to food preparation, takes less time than a century ago. Also, women are not dying in childbirth like they did. Also, minivans and SUVs allow women to run around all over town and do things that were impossible when you did everything on foot.

But I wonder whether the sexual revolution, abortion, no-fault divorce, and careers for women are really such a good idea -- for women. Sexual revolution and abortion? If you ask me they have turned sex into a meat market, which is exactly the way young men like it. Careers for women? Sure, except that most women want to stay home and raise their children, and want a part-time job. No-fault divorce? Used to be that the rich were getting divorced and the poor were not. Now it is the other way around. Go figure. How about we de-politicize the Woman Question and let women figure it out on their own without the prodding and the conceit of left-wing political activists?

It is perhaps in race politics that the left has left the biggest precipitate of injustice. For it is in race politics that the left has achieved most clearly the opposite of what it advocated. African Americans have struggled to rise in the decades since the civil rights era of the 1960s. And the reason is simple. Liberals have enacted a mountain of injustice on the smoldering remains of Jim Crow. They have enrolled blacks in the lefty activist army and marched them around. But for what? African Americans exhibit the highest crime rates, the lowest marriage rates, and struggle to get out of the city and into the suburbs. Is that what the civil rights revolution was all about?

What about gays? Well, I think it is too soon to tell what the unanticipated consequences of gay politics will be. My only comment, as a 70-year-old grandfather, is to wonder what it means to be a 70-year-old without children and without grandchildren.

It is usual to fault the left for its genocidal crimes: the Ukrainian famine that killed 10 million in the 1930s, the Great Leap Forward that killed 30 million and the Cultural Revolution that bullied and shamed millions more, the Cuban revolution that has kept Cubans in poverty and oppression, the Venezuelan meltdown that is starving millions.

But I want to focus on the other things the left has done, that are not quite crimes but that have misled and ruined the lives of millions. I am talking about leading the workers away from learning how to work with, rather than against, capitalism and the price system. I am talking about force-marching women in a feminist direction rather than allowing them to discover for themselves how to create a more feminine public square. I am talking about stopping civil rights at civil rights and avoiding the injustice of Affirmative Action that has fallen so heavily on the shoulders of the white working class and on the supposed beneficiaries, African Americans.

I believe that we are just beginning the pushback against liberal injustice, and I also believe that, unlike the Enlightenment in the 18th century and the rise of the Left in the 19th century, the pushback is occurring without an intellectual vanguard to prepare the ground. This means that for the current leftist ruling class the pushback is occurring totally unexpectedly out of a clear blue sky, without the usual warning clouds on the intellectual horizon.

That is why the left is so outraged right now. And that is why we are not even at the end of the beginning of the new age, whatever it is and whatever it will become.

Ordinary people are finding out that their lives have been made worse by the intellectual ruling class of the last century. But nobody knows what they will do about it.

All we know is that political power is unjust. And eventually people must rise up against injustice or disappear into the dustbin of history.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Oh Dear. Not Another Push to Make Government More Efficient

Oh dear. The tech titans are meeting at the White House today and one of the items on the agenda is to bring the government up to date. The idea, apparently, is to make the federal government "operate like a modern technology enterprise." After all, "modernizing government services is not politicized."

Oh please. The reason that government is such a mess is not because government hasn't kept up with the new technology. It is because government tries to run the country as though it were a feudal fief, with the lord providing protection to his vassals in return for their fealty or support. And the problem with such vertical relationships is that they are notoriously resistant to change.

The reason we no longer have a feudal system is that it is a system that does not increase human welfare, because it cannot respond to new information. In fact, under the feudal system, the poor go to the wall when periodic famine occurs. Sorry about that.

But under the price system and the exchange economy change is constant and ceaseless and everyone, whether they like it or not -- and usually they do not -- must adjust to the  price signals.

Not surprisingly, people go to government for help when they want to escape from the price system. That's when government sets up a new program to shelter its supporters from the harsh winds of the price system.

But  what about 30 or 50 years down the road? Do we update the program? Do we make it more efficient? Do we blame the program's failure on greedy bankers or uncaring corporate CEOs?

Let us look at a specific example, the catastophic fire at London's Grenfell Tower. This building is what we in the US would call government housing, and the Brits call "social housing" or "council housing." It was built according to fashionable notions in the 1970s (think Pruitt-Igoe) and was refurbished recently according to modern ideas of green energy. Unfortunately it is not owned by the Trump Organization but by government and its unaccountable bureaucrats. And the tenants are not no-nonsense Manhattanites who would be outta there if the management didn't keep the place up; they are welfare recipients and immigrants who only know protest and complaint.

So the question about Grenfell Tower is not who to blame, and whether Theresa May is sufficiently compassionate as the feudal lord of the helpless serfs, but why in the world do we have the government getting into the housing business anyway?

Why does Grenfell Tower exist, 30 years after everyone agreed that tower blocks were a terrible way to warehouse the poor? It is because even though there is garbage in the hallways and discarded mattresses in the doorways, and the residents are always complaining, it is still a pretty good deal for the tenants who are getting half-decent housing at way-below-market rents. Humans will put up with a lot of inconvenience and humiliation when they are getting free stuff.

Grenfell Tower really is a poster-boy for government in general. After years of complaint they put up "cladding" to spiff up the building and make it greener with more insulation. So the bureaucrats were killing two birds with one stone. The first is that such "tower blocks" are stunningly ugly; the second is that they are energy inefficient, being designed before the first OPEC oil embargo. Wonderful. Only the bureaucrats made it worse, because the new cladding was not fire-resistant or fire-retarding but a fire accelerant.

There is settled science on this and if you disagree you are a denier. The settled science is called the Law of Unintended Consequences, and it applies to all government programs. Actually it applies to life in general. In life, when you are faced with an unintended consequence, you fix it. In government you have to wait 30 years until the program is irretrievably broken. And then you paper the problem over with a new efficiency program or technology update and hope that it will go away.

The question remains. Is it better to paper over a failing government program and throw good money after bad? Or not.