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'Simplicity' Categories

Simpler Than We Imagined

Sometimes the answer to our problem is simpler than we imagined.  

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, once asked British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: How do you see to it that people get food? The Soviets’ central planners, in their communist system, had struggled for decades to feed their nation—and still had food shortages and bread lines. But western stores were stocked with all the food their people could want. So Gorbachev wanted to know: How do you see to it that people get food? 

Thatcher’s reply was: We don’t. The profit motive in capitalism took care of it without any government help at all. If a man can make a profit by getting an item to the market and selling it, he will get it to the market and sell it. There was a simple solution to the Soviet Union’s food problem all those years. 

Reference: Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (Basic Books, 2007), pp. 11-12, 18-19  

Too Many Choices

We burn ourselves out when we make things too complicated. 

Psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the 2004 book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, says that one thing that over-complicates life in mode... [Read More]

Reference: Barry Schwartz, "The Paradox of Choice," ted.com (from a speech given in July 2005 in Oxford, England)  

The First 1040 Tax Form

There was no federal income tax in the United States until 1913, and the tax that first year applied to less than 1% of the population (those making more than $3,000), and they only had to pay one percent. And the fir... [Read More]
Reference: Christopher Neefus, "Original 1040 Tax Form: Only 3 Pages and 1 Page of Instructions," cnsnews.com (4-15-10)

Traveling in a Wooden Crate

You may have heard about the man who, in September of 2003, decided to ship himself from New York City to Dallas—in a wooden crate! He somehow packed himself in the crate. The crate journeyed by truck, plane, and deli... [Read More]

Reference: William Ray, Knowing God through Prayer—the Plan Jesus Gave (Ambassador International, 2008), pp. 156-157