Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Failure Love?

"It sounds like a dubious aspiration,but one of the more pressing priorities for America this decade is to preserve our cherished freedom to fail in this country."

Megan Mcardle, "In Defense of Failure: Making mistakes is a great American freedom,"
Time March 22, 2010.

The theme of this brief apology for failure is to urge us to stop the blame game,embrace and learn from the Great Recession, and get on with it. Failure makes us great as a generator and supporter of entrepreneurs.

"And so rather than launch a quixotic war on failure, we should be using what we've learned to build a system that fails better..."

The human side of policy/institution failure is omitted from this argument -- as if everyone was equal partners and risk-takers in our financial failures. Most who have lost jobs or experienced foreclosure were regular folks with regular aspirations --not necessarily risk-taking entrepreneurs ready to pick themselves up from failure and try again.

"..[F]ailure is one of the most economically important tools we have." But supporting failure should not mean imprudent policy management,exploitative financial products, lack of a safety net, and seemingly insurmountable barriers to getting free of foreclosure.

That's old failure without much learning.

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