Short Term Bear, Long Term Bull

In prior posts, I have stated that I am a Short Term Bear and a Long Term Bull. But, I never really explained what I meant. The Short Term Bear part now appears obvious as the country moves from recession to depression. Why a Long Term Bull?

My basic thesis is politicians create problems and engineers solve them. History moves through three stages.

  1. Problem
  2. Solution
  3. Benefit (which leads to the next Problem and cycle repeats)

Let us use WW2 as an example. The Problem is that pesky Hitler is running around Europe causing problems. Politicians failed in their task to both prevent a war and to make sure we were adequately prepared for war should one start. The Solution wasn’t really strong leadership. It was engineers cracking codes, massive improvements in aviation and the atom bomb. The Benefit was peace in Europe, which led us to the next Problem of the Cold War.

Photo Inventors Bell and Edison by Flickr user mharrsch

I’m not a history major, but I can think of at least a dozen cases where engineers have put their brain power to work to create solutions for problems created or made worse by the government. So government fails to prevent 9/11 and a year later an unmanned drone with the name of Hellfire blows up a terrorist taking a drive through the Yemen countryside. Engineers to the rescue.

This is why I consider myself post-political. I no longer care which party wins an election. History tells us both sides will make mistakes and make problems worse. And my reading of history tells me that engineers will come in and clean up the mess.

I understand this thesis is highly simplistic, but I think it explains my Short Term Bear and Long Term Bull statement. Of course, it doesn’t cover every event in history. It is just a guide.

At this moment there are thousands of engineers working on today’s problems such as energy and health care. Maybe the next advancement will double fuel economy or perhaps cure diabetes. Whatever it is will very likely have a major impact on society.

However, my confidence that engineers will solve the current financial problem with inventions and productivity gains has never been lower. The numbers are simply too large and growing daily. Since I’m starting to drift off topic, I’ll save that discussion for another blog.


Add yours

  1. This is my kind of thesis: never underestimate the power of engineers! If all else fails, we can always resort to our three never-fail tools – a swiss army knife, duct tape and crazy glue 🙂

  2. The Scientific Leader

    Nov 27, 2008 — 7:20 am

    In general, I like your thesis. Slight revision – politicians create problems, and engineers and entrepreneurs solve them. The Engineer/Entrepreneur combo in silicon valley has been dynamite.

    I’m much more of a US “permabear” and Free Market Bull than you though, especially given the current crisis where it appears the US Government is following Zimbabwe’s role model

  3. I like your revision. Adding the Entrepreneur is a great idea.

    I hope that I’m not slipping into the permabear status, but the actions of our Fed and Treasury are destroying this country.

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