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Thursday, January 11, 2007


Mandating Action

Recently I had an issue with an Oracle database at work which required about a day and a half to resolve. The disk drives which hold the vast majority of the data died and had to be reformatted. This is not a trivial effort and required the work of myself and a Network Admin to reload the data from tape backups and recover the database. The disk drive failed at about 10:30 Wednesday morning and the database was back up by 8:30 Friday morning with no loss of data.

In the meantime a person in authority in another office who uses our Oracle database became livid and very demanding. She stated that the database had to be up in order for her workers to edit their data and if it wasn't made available immediately, she was going to call our boss. She was making a mandate that the database work. I laughed my ass off. She can demand all she wants but it isn't going to work until all the problems are resolved by the people who know how to resolve them. Notifying my boss was her solution to mandate that her needs be satisfied. How stupid is that?

After I thought about that for a few minutes, I decided I had seen or heard parallels to this attitude before, from Congress, or more specifically, liberal members of Congress. They believe Congress or the President should mandate to auto makers that cars get better gas mileage. Because, after all, if we tell them to do it, they have to comply. We are the government and whatever we mandate must become reality. ROTFLOL!

Have you ever read Atlas Shrugged by Ian Rand? If not, I highly recommend it. This book was written before its time and is not an easy read but the points made are so applicable to today's government lunacy that it is very eerie. It's like the book is coming to life right before us.

Why is it that some people feel government is the answer to all of our problems? This kind of thinking that if the government mandates something to occur that it will automatically occur as they envision is ludicrous. The government in Atlas Shrugged mandated all sorts of things to the big businesses of the country. They demanded they be good "corporate citizens" and create jobs they didn't need and to pay wages they couldn't afford because the people of this country deserve to have a job and be paid a decent salary.

That same elitist attitude abounds in America today and it dumfounds me how people can subscribe to that line of thinking because it is just so illogical. To think that government can mandate an action to be so even if the science and technology is not available to make it happen is so out of touch with reality that anyone I meet who believes this automatically has my disdain. This country has been successful because of its people. Many would have you believe that America's success is because of its government. It just isn't true.

Necessity is the mother of invention and it always will be. Capitalism decides which products are accepted and which will work through the natural selection of the marketplace. Any intervention in the natural order by a government will not improve the natural order, it will only pervert it and weaken it. Let the marketplace work and it will. Mandate impossible things and it will fall apart.

I think it's really as simple as that.


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