It’s Not Just the Economy

Ian Mitroff
3 min readApr 10, 2024

Learning the Same Lessons Again and Again

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

As readers know, Paul Krugman for whom I have enormous respect, unfortunately keeps committing the same fallacy in Reasoning again and again[i]. While people generally feel they are doing well personally when it comes to Financial Matters, they still remain down about the National Economy. This is in spite of the fact that under Biden Job Creation is at all time high and so is employment.

As is typical, the Split between Conservatives and Progressives is as sharp as ever. In Krugman’s words:

“…more progressives should celebrate the current economy, not just to help Biden get re-elected, but because economic success validates the progressive vision. I’d argue that Biden deserves some credit for the good news, but the more important point is that policies like the expansion of Obamacare and student debt relief have not, contrary to conservative predictions, dragged the economy down — which means that it’s OK to call for more.”

In the same issue, Gail Collins and Bret Stephens argue that matters like Immigration, upon which Biden was slow to act, play a significant role in people’s feelings about the Economy[ii]. In other words, it’s all interconnected. It’s not matter of Economics alone. It never is!

In another article, David French argues persuasively that Israel is making the same mistake that America did in Iraq[iii]. In his words:

“The moral urgency of destroying Hamas remains, but it is a profound mistake to think that defeating it in battle is at odds with the legal and moral obligation of a large-scale humanitarian effort to feed and protect the civilians of Gaza. In fact, the two goals are inextricably linked. Fail at either one, and Israel may ultimately face its most consequential defeat.”

The point of all three is that learning from the errors and mistakes of others, and especially oneself, is without a doubt one of the hardest tasks facing Humankind. It requires fortitude in facing the most Unpleasant Truths about oneself and others. No wonder why it’s so difficult to accomplish. And yet, it’s clearly crucial to our survival.

Either grow up America or perish!

[i] Paul Krugman, “Good News, Negative Vibes,” The New York Times, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, P A19.

[ii] Gail Collins and Bret Stephens, “Everything Is Getting Very Familiar, The New York Times, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, P A18.

[iii] David French, “Netanyahu Is Making the same Mistake America Made in Iraq,” The New York Times. Monday, April 8, 2024, PA18.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

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