Free, Large, Rich: Choose Any Two

2009-03-07

There's a classic line in project management: "Fast, Good, Cheap: Choose Any Two". As hard as you might wish to produce something of excellent quality in a big hurry at low cost, you simply can't. You can have Fast and Good but not Cheap, Fast and Cheap but not Good, or Good and Cheap but not Fast.

I wonder if there is an analogy to social systems: "Free, Large, Rich: Choose Any Two", perhaps? As hard as you might wish to live in a populous, wealthy country that maintains human liberty, you simply can't. You can have Free and Large but not Rich, Free and Rich but not Large, or Large and Rich but not Free.

America has tried to be all three, but it has increasingly sacrificed freedom to size and wealth. Something's got to give.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal