Common Thinking Errors

I am compiling a page devoted to common thinking errors that are highly relevant to economics and political science. The list will get long. For now I am just adding them as the comet o mind.

Self Importance: The posture of self importance is instinctive. The species would go extent if its members did not routinely put themselves first.

People are important to themselves, family and a few friends. As harmless as self importance may seems it is the root of many false notions. An individual reasons, “As important as I am, certainly I am worthy of being served by those I help elect to public office.” Of a course, a person is of no importance at all to a politician. To a politician, a voter is a resource. A permanent disconnect is formed where the constituent expects to get representation from a representative who holds office first and foremost out of self interest. Human instinct is to exalt oneself.

My country, school, or any group I belong to is special.  This again is instinctive. Survival is facilitated by being a member of a group with common interests. Instinct calls for exaltation and loyalty to all groups a person belongs to, Survival is facilitated by drawing support and benefits from any group for which an individual is a member. Most loyalties to groups are arbitrary. That is in. Go team go. Mu school is better than yours. Fans support their home team. I ask, is there any long term advantage to an individual who is loyal to a home team or a school?

The incentive to serve Popular belief is that there are humans who go into public service on an ideological basis with every intention of serving mankind. This incentive to serve is completely imaginary. People who do such things as run for office do so out of self interest. Folks wonder why office holders never get around to promoting the causes that got them elected. This is the reason. People in government are motivated to exploit problems for personal gain while appearing to work in the public interest.

People think independently: Most people go long periods of time without an original thought. The mind records words and images and a person believes those are his thoughts. This is easily seen in political discourse. All conversations morph down to non sentient argument. All public political dialog, morphs down to standardized, concise words and sentences put forth am a means of rapid persuasion.

The divinity of government Much is expected out of government. It is reasoned that, if the private sector is falling short in an activity, government can make it work right. Government is assumed to have complete prowess in terms of fixing life’s issues. Government is deemed fair while the private sector is seen as corrupt and filled with selfishness. Human nature does not change. Government consists of multitudes of self serving individuals just as does the private sector. Voters have a parent child relationship with their government. If a problem gets big, voters see government as the ultimate source of wisdom and solutions. History shows that government never solves problems worse. This kind of relationship is inborn. When a person leaves the private sector and joins government, that person’s does not change his basic orientation.

What I see is all there is: Most of what is relevant is not part of what is apparent from a casual glance.

Government is benevolent: Government is a venue for folks who are all trying to gain a particular advantage or make a profit.

Government is working in my behalf: Government works in behalf of those who control government. If no  one controls government, then government works in its own behalf.

Patriotism is good: Patriotism is actually the all time worldwide leading cause of unnecessary deaths. Patriotism my be necessary but that depends upon the activity a government is involved in. During World War Two, NAZI soldiers were as patriotic as it is possible for humans to be. .

 Soldiers fight for freedom: A soldier is a citizen with a job. A soldier does not pick the fights he participates in. Freedom rarely has anything to do with  U.S. military operations and interventions. Colin Powell once said he joined the military because he needed a job. Ordinary soldiers did so for the same reason.
Public officials are just like the rest of us: Public officials have
political personalities. Political personality is so similar to a that of a sociopath.
personality. The two terms could be used as synonyms.

A public servant sets aside self interest: Self interest is a constant in
human behavior. Self interest does not disappear if a person takes a certain
job. In the private sector self interest is a cause of efficiency. Self interest
in the public sector causes inefficiency

Credentials imply competence: Credentials actually contribute to
incompetence. Credentials allow individuals to profit from the pretense of
Those who are charged with solving problems charge the highest amount possible for their services. Simple solutions are dispensed with and replaced with solutions that command a price. When listening to others it is best to deal in pure arguments, independently of credentials in order to achieve an optimum outcome.

Work is a first choice Work is actually only engaged in if there is
absolutely no way to live off the efforts of others. Mainstream economics
treats all humans as 100% industrious. This is not true at all and it is a
main reason why they never get anything right.

Every person needs a college education: When the supply of
educated people exceeds the demand, a college education can be of no
value at all.

Communication only occurs with words: Communication without
words is actually more precise and meaningful.

Experts on God Or There not being a God: : No priest, preacher, rabbi, or guru is an expert on God. Any you claim to be experts, please speak up. What about atheists and others who deny the existence of a higher power?  A person who is an atheist must believe in at least one miracle. That is that they he is just hear, along with all life, and that they are just alive without life being caused by anything. No person is an expert on these things. Nor, does anyone have any genuine insight to such matters.

These are just a few thinking errors that are routinely made. False beliefs are comforting. They are just not true. There are many more but these are pretty basic.

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