Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Parable

Sometimes Italian hill towns, tired of internal feuding, would outsource the mayor position to someone with a recognized track record. The crack team would come in, set up housekeeping, and maybe show the locals how it's done. Before long, the town would be running smoothly again, simmering issues resolved, hard questions confronted.

If the temporary managers saw themselves in that light, as temporary, not looking for permanent work, then the workflow would go smoothly. However, some might see themselves as wanting to become entrenched, to go for that pension.

In exceptional cases, this might be a welcome development, to have an outsider join the community in some responsible capacity, but for the most part, your outsourced team should move on, as the locals will eventually wish to reassert their steering functions, now that they've learned how to drive in a new way.

This same issue arises with mercenaries, ostensibly hired to protect against foes in neighboring hill towns. A corrupt force, taking money from all sides, selling services to all sides, will simply run it as a protection racket. In a monopolistic economy, that spells trouble for all concerned.