Sentence to Ponder
By Arnold Kling
From Tyler Cowen:
If your blogging or writing doesn’t increase the degree of trust among people who do not agree with each other, probably you are lowering the chance for better policy, not increasing it, no matter what you perceive yourself as saying.
It is easy to write in such a way as to drive people apart. But how would you do the opposite?
Think of an organization in which groups are often at odds. For example, there is often friction between sales and finance/accounting. The two functions tend to select for different personalities. Often, you can improve sales by spending more, while you improve your financial statements by spending less, so there is inherent conflict. How do you foster trust between the two groups? You can focus on a common enemy, such as the firm that is your main competitor. You can create “joint teams” by undertaking new projects that involve sales and finance working together. You can try to design the incentive structure in the organization in order to minimize friction (give the finance people bonuses based on sales volume and the sales people bonuses based on cost control, instead of the other way around).
I am not sure what the analogy is in the overall political/economic/social environment. The notion that World War II might have increased trust within the United States keeps popping into my head, to my discomfiture.