Trade-Offs

June 9, 2009

In Sowell’s Conflict of Visions, he wrote that those with the unconstrained vision think in terms of solutions, while those with the constrained vision think  of trade-offs.

I didn’t understand that until I remembered a discussion with a friend about trading his SUV for a sedan .  He claimed the decided to be environmentally friendly, (the unconstrained’s solution), though he admitted he didn’t miss the big gas bill (recognition of a self-interested trade-off).

I pointed out the trade-offs of my constrained vision – fuel economy, convenience of a bigger vehicle to haul stuff and safety.   I  explained that trade-offs drove his decision.

He didn’t fully buy into my trade-off point of view.  He believed he made the decision for the solution.  He could be right.

But, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t make real trade-offs.

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