The Consequences of Incompetence: The All-Too-Human Costs of Bad Thinking and Poor Decision-making by People in High Places
November 8, 2005. Stafford Little Lecture
Recents events, especially the war in Iraq and the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina, have provided dramatic examples of the terrible human consequences that can result from bad decision-making and outright incompetence by public officials and others in positions of authority. The victims tend to be ordinary people, sometimes in extraordinary numbers. The links between the decision-making and the real-life consequences are seldom adequately examined. This needs to change.
Bob Herbert began his newspaper career as a reporter with the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey. He was a reporter and editorial board member at the Daily News and a national correspondent for NBC before joining the New York Times in 1993. His columns focus on politics, urban affairs, and social trends. He has won numerous awards, including the Meyer Berger Award and the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for distinguished writing.