Those that make errors can often be the right person to fix them, as long as their errors are not due to a flaw in character – because they have the skills to correct their mistakes. A military leader can turn a loss into a win with tactics. A doctor can notice a misdiagnosis and prescribe a proper solution. A programmer can find bugs in her code and fix them. Sometimes the best person to correct a mistake is the one that made it.
In the case of the global economic meltdown, this is most distinctly not the case.
Let's look at the people who created our lovely globalized financial mess:
- Sell-out politicians who figured donations trumped the future.
- Bankers and brokers and their ilk whose focus has been on how to play the system as it was to make a lot of money.
- Assorted people in the loan industry, financial "gurus" and others who were ready to take wads of cash for spreading B.S.
What do all of these people have in common, beyond obvious ethical issues so bad the Dali Lama might be tempted to slap them?* If you said "they don't have the ability to fix the problems they made" you're right.
The walking ethical black holes that helped create the Great Recession simply do not have the ability to repair the system they messed, even if they suddenly repented and saw the error of their ways. The people who created our problems are good at gaming the system and using it to make money. They are not necessarily good at things like developing sustainable economies, addressing unemployment issues, and so on.
No matter what they want to do, they're not equipped to do it, so we can't look to them for solutions.
Sure we might look to them for repentance and contrition. We may hope they admit the errors of their ways. They could use their public positions to admit what a group of utter moral dullards they are and try to rally people to change things. But they're not going to be able to fix things in the roll-up-your-sleeves sense.
So next time you hear about who needs a bailout and how certain people are just so darned indispensable to the economy, ask if those getting bailed out and praised are the people that made this mess. Then ask if you think they really can – and will – help solve the results of the economic meltdown.
* I don't think the current Dali Lama would slap any of these people. But he might understand the urge to.