Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Re-Engineering Afghanistan

I found another fascinating article the ties engineering and politics together. But they are not a great combination. I guess politics and anything would be a bad combination, come to think of it.

Think about this article the next time you read how government investment in infrastructure will "stimulate" our economy. Government can't even do a good job when it has the best of intentions--and it often doesn't. From IEEE Spectrum magazine:
"Re-engineering Afghanistan" by Glenn Zorpette

The subtitle says it all:
"The coalition has spent hundreds of millions trying to give Afghanistan electricity. Unfortunately, it made many of the mistakes it made in Iraq"

If I quoted portions of the article that I thought deserved extra emphasis I'd end up quoting too much of the article. And I've already done that in plenty of other posts on this blog.

So I'll leave it at this: Read the article and see what you think about whether government can do a better job than the private sector in allocating scarce resources. And ask yourself what the hell we're doing over there.