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The Curious Task

November 21, 2016


The problem we had…

The putting green is the most sensitive part of a golf course. Millions of blades of tiny fragile “bent grass”; mowed every morning to 2 or 3/64th’s of an inch and then rolled to make them even smoother. Great greens make the course fun.

Right in the center of the left photo is a budding invasive species called “duck grass”. We’ve had a recent invasion.

Our greenskeeper (the person that leads the maintenance crew) tried a recommended herbicide that was supposed to kill off the invader without harming the good stuff.



Now it’s gotten worse!

As the second photo clearly shows, the got the opposite result; the good grass now dead as a doornail and the invader, having survived the attack, stronger than ever.

It’s funny how when you try to push living things around… they fight back.

Why is this story in an blog about political economy?  It reminded me of a favorite quotation from the Nobel Prize winning economist F. A. Hayek.


The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.

F. A. Hayak – Austrian Economist

When government tries to run an economy with central planners unintended consequences (like mutant duck grass) frequently result.

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