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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