The most logical explanation for the illogical behavior of our immediate past City Council is that they completely believed the bullshit they were being fed. And maybe they were correct in believing it. Maybe El Paso was destined for greatness, if not for the skeptics, and the collapse of the international banking system.
But once that happened, our city leaders should have noticed, and turned on a dime. After all, the city was not heavily leveraged into downtown El Paso’s success. But when the world suddenly changes, when paradigms shift, when the deck gets reshuffled, and the rules change, it’s hard to admit that what you believed is a crock, especially if it wasn’t when you started believing in it.
And it’s harder when your trusted advisers, who may, perhaps, have invested, heavily, in a future that doesn’t exist anymore, try to convince you to stay the course.
Because we’re invested in our beliefs. Our beliefs define who we are. And when one makes critical decisions, decisions that affect hundreds of thousands of people, it’s easier to justify them, however tenuously, than to admit that the game we were playing is not, perhaps, the game that exists.
It’s easy to ascribe the basest of motives to people caught in the jaws of evolving history. But it’s not always accurate, and not always productive. And sometimes the basest of motives coincide the with the greatest social good. See, for instance, Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand. Of course, Mr. Smith’s model required absolute transparency (perfect knowledge), something sadly lacking in our current political model. And sadly, Mr. Smith never went to Washington, let alone City Hall.