Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Timing and Planning - State vs. Private Entities

Mankiw's post on how Research Assistants estimate their time is eerily similar to how state agencies estimate time. The way professors estimate time is also similar to someones way of thinking, that of a private project manager.
State agencies greatly underestimate the necessary time for so many tasks that in the end they have to defend by their projects are not on time. ACA is only the latest big example, although a very obvious one and on a very grand scale. In Germany, I could name at least 3 projects that are very similar: BER airport, Stuttgart 21 and the Karlsruhe Subway. All three projects run late and in the case of the Berlin airport, it actually displays all the signs of dysfunctional government planning. Commitées that fought each other, quotations that were selected on the wrong basis and timings that did not include a lot of reserve times in case of iterational development.

When it comes to private project, the project is often not quicker, but the initial sample timing already includes a lot of back-up time so that the executive comitee can already decide on a more conservative plan. Sometimes this means the death of a project, but in that case probably it is justified. Perhaps the same would happen with government projects, the question is would that really be a bad thing???

Turncoat Thinking - ACA Edition

So Greg Mankiw wonders about why the Left makes a distinction between car insurance and health insurance and specifically when it comes to personal preferences. I think that he is baffled stems from the fact that he is not significantly surrounded by that many leftists as I am in Europe.

The thinking here goes along the lines of what is necessary for society, community and the nation in general. Although leftists like to eschew the label of "nationalism", in general however, a lot of their arguments rest on the notion of nationalism, which is quite interesting in its irony.

Mr. Mankiw is stupified by the distinction between a Prosche as a personal choice of car in comparison to children as a personal life-style choice. The distinction imo is that while cars are important, they don't have such a high level of necessity for a functioning society, children on the other hand have. For the continual survival of society and our species in general (and also for the welfare state) children are the basis and as such an important requirement. As such it should be a top priority for the state to do everything to increase the amount of children and their welfare. If it means subsidizing health care for their parents, then this is a to do for progressives. It is morally, ethically the right choice to do and on top of that a requirement derived from a general community spirit thinking.

I think this kind of thinking should not be as strange and foreign to Mankiw as he supposes in this post. After all the idea of civilization and society is also dear to the heart of conservativism.