This article about the recent failures of the IMF in relation to the Greece/Euro problem is instructive about a lot of modern bureaucracies and civil service “expertise” capture, I think.
Groupthink and mechanistic analyses based on principles that are not widely understood and ground out with singular variables are common in modern bureaucracies of all types. Those variables that are politically influenced are especially problematic. How many states and cities in the USA are facing insolvency based on a single pension fund return assumption?
There is such confidence in the layer upon layer analysis that every bureaucrat is trusting 10 expert analyses to be right when only one being wrong is enough to scuttle the entire project. Has anyone else ever seen an entire business case fail/succeed with the slight change of the discount rate?
I think this problem is roiling across many areas of our society from government to business to public policy to education.
Increasingly, I feel less like the Fox and more like the Hedgehog.
Image credit –
By attributed to Johann Friedrich Grooth (1717-1806) (Dorotheum) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons