Thursday, February 26, 2009

What makes an expert.

Webster’s defines an expert as:

1: obsolete: experienced
2: having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience

I think the biggest part of our problems are caused by the first definition being judged as obsolete. To me the expert is the person who has a history of being right more often than wrong. Not about how many books you read, or how many you’ve written. It’s how many times you actually did it and did it right! Sometimes it’s not the number of times you were right or wrong, it’s how big an issue you were right or wrong about.

Well, the experts who told us that making the current crop of foreign trade deals was a good thing, were hugely, spectacularly wrong! To the tune of 600 BILLION dollars a year. We are bleeding jobs an alarming rate and we are creating new ones so slowly they are functionally invisible.

I submit that it’s because those experts really didn’t know what they were talking about.

They created some gorgeous theories, conferred each other with expert status, and now that their theories have failed to deliver in the real world, those same experts are clamoring to sell us their latest theory.

I think “the experts” were wrong enough to cost them their expert status. I think they were wrong enough to cause us to start looking for that non-expert who was screaming “Your wrong!” when those deals were proposes and ask him what to do. Since he was right the last time, I have a lot more confidence that he’ll be right again.

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