Cautionary Tales Masterly Inactivity Versus Micromanaging

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Lady Sale (played by Helena Bonham Carter) was part of a bloody and ignominious British retreat from Afghanistan in 1842. The arrogant colonial invaders had thought intervening in Afghan affairs and dominating the country would be easy – they were wrong. Lady Sale was among the lucky few to escape with her life.

Wiser heads later recommended “masterly inactivity” as a better course of action. In politics, parenting and even medicine – avoiding the temptation to act is a sadly neglected art form.

The Host

Tim Harford

Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…