Monday, May 18, 2015

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The Republican candidates for President of the United States are being queried a to whether they would have invaded Iraq had they known then what they know today.  Sen. Ted Cruz responded that "Not only would I not have been in favor of it,  President Bush would not have been in favor of it."  Would that we were able to use hindsight in predicting the future.  That is highly improbable, if not impossible.

In fact, predicting today's scenario should Saddam Hussein have remained in power, is mere conjecture.  It is nothing more than fun and games to predict what today's world would look like had 9/11 not happened, or had D-Day (9,000 estimated casualties) failed, or had Henry Wallace, instead of Harry Truman, become president after President Roosevelt died.  (Wallace, Roosevelt's VP, was bumped from the ticket in 1944.)  It is mere speculation to consider the probabilities involved in the "road not taken" - the proverbial "what-ifs."

Decisions bring about results - some anticipated, others not.  These results will lead to new possibilities.  Choices among these new possibilities may lead to another round of possibilities and choices, etc. etc.  Decisions should be made using the best available information from the best available sources.  People can, and will, criticize decisions, but those truly to condemn are only those made improperly.  An error that results from an informed and well-thought out decision is not a mistake - it is an unpredictable error in judgment.

We always assume that a good result was a product of the right decision.  But, in fact, a better outcome may have ensued had another decision been made.

As one brokerage house has cautioned:  "Past performance is not a guarantee of future results!"

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