How Systems Collapse: Reaping What We’ve Sown

by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds

Don’t expect healthcare or any other hollowed-out, heavily optimized system to function as it once did.

A great many Americans will be shocked when our healthcare systems start failing because they believed the PR that “we have the finest healthcare system in the world.” The ability to deliver the finest care to a few does not translate into an ability to deliver the finest care to the many, nor does it mean the system is robust enough to withstand a tsunami.

As I have endeavored to explain in recent posts, systems optimized for narrow envelopes fail when they slip outside that envelope. One analogy is an airliner that is optimized in terms of fuel efficiency to fly above 30,000 feet at around 540 miles per hour.

The optimized envelope allows for somewhat higher and lower flight paths, but if the airliner is forced to fly at 500 feet, it will no longer have the range it had at 30,000 feet.

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