Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why do Government Officials Make Dumb Decisions?

There was an international conference held in Paris a few years back and engineers from around the globe flew in to attend.  After morning-long seminars, they broke for lunch.  Upon walking out of the meeting rooms, they heard the Japanese coastline had been hit hard by a massive tsunami.
As the attendees funneled into a banquet room for lunch, they listened to the radio broadcasts.  It was announced that the President of the United States had authorized the deployment of two aircraft carriers to Japan.  Immediately, a few of the European engineers in line began to chuckle.   They said,  "How dumb is that?  The President of the United States is sending two aircraft carriers to Japan.  What does he intend to do, bomb the Japanese?"

An engineer from the Boeing corporation who was behind them in line commented, "An American aircraft carrier has three hospitals on board that can treat over five hundred people per day.  They are all nuclear powered so they can supply unlimited emergency electrical power to many facilities on shore.   They have three cafeterias with a capacity to feed up to 6,000 people three meals a day for up to 90 days without any need to resupply. 

He went on to say that they are also equipped with a sophisticated desalination system that can produce 40,000 gallons of fresh water from seawater each day.  Finally, he pointed out that all US carriers sail from port with a minimum of six helicopters on board.  Each helicopter can be used to transport victims to safety or any injured back to the ship for needed medical attention.

He then looked at the European engineers who scoffed at the dumb idea of the US President sending two aircraft carriers to Japan and said, "America has eleven such ships.  How many similar ships do your countries have?'

The European engineers stood silent.