Friday, November 07, 2008

Don't Waste A Crisis

... says Rahm Emanuel, just appointed chief-of-staff by President-elect Barack Obama.

"You don't ever want a crisis to go to waste; it's an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid. In 1974 and 1978 we never dealt with it, and our dependence on foreign oil never changed."

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste

According to Thomas Friedman, this phrase was coined by economist Paul Romer. It echoes the slogan of the United Negro College Fund: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

There have been lots of people using this phrase in the last few weeks, plus some earlier uses. Here is a small selection.
Finally, Avrim Lazar attributes a version of the phrase Canadian economist Don Roberts
"A crisis is too precious an event to waste."

A cliché is a terrible thing to waste.

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