By Dan Denning – Southbank Private Research (Great Britain) –
Another way to describe politeness is not saying what you really think. That’s not always a bad instinct.
When you know your words will give offence, or at least make another person uncomfortable,
civility is an easier course than candour.
Why does that matter?
Let me be blunt: the British people are too polite. They prefer too much safety. And their desire to provide a stable, safe, and comfortable retirement for as many people as possible has led them
on the road to a fiscal disaster. That disaster may arrive sooner than you think. There’s no polite way to put it.
Before you take offence, please keep in mind the purpose of this additional chapter to Hormegeddon. The purpose of Bill’s book is to show how too much of a good thing leads to disaster. The purpose
of this chapter is to show you that otherwise admirable civic and personal virtues can, when taken to an extreme, lead to public policy disasters.
But there’s more to it than that. You are affected by numerous public policies. When one of those policies fails, the failure is born by you: the public. The policy maker never suffers. He or she can claim
good intentions. It was the policy that went bad. The spirit of the law was fine. It was the reality that broke.
That’s a nice “get out of jail free card” for the central planners who wreak so much destruction on your financial plans and your quality of life. But it doesn’t help you much. In this additional chapter to
Hormegeddon, I’ll show you how three British virtues are disguising much larger problems in Britain’s economy and society that you may soon have to deal with.
Now, you may be too polite to point out than an American has no business commenting on British virtues. But what I’ll show you is all cut and dried. A policy designed with honourable intentions will,
when taken to excess, become a monster. The numbers don’t lie. The important point is that no one ever starts out wanting a disaster. That’s why they’re so hard to see coming. When they begin with good intentions, we’re reluctant to analyse them, criticise them, call them by their right names, and propose how to deal with them.
My hope is by naming them and showing them to you here, you can begin to plan for them before the eventual disaster unfolds. Let’s begin.