Okay. I'm curious about what's going through the minds of some of the people in Washington D.C. right now. I'd love to get the input of a game theorist, and I'm sure that some cursory web searching could turn up some analysis. One of the larger issues here has to do with risk taking. Humans love to take risks, and the majority of us demonstrate a poor grasp of the odds of success and failure. The politicians in Washington, most notably, the Tea Party representatives, are making a big gamble. However, they will not suffer real, personal consequences should their venture fail.
This plays out in many aspects of our society. Fund managers get to gamble with other people's money. They are rewarded for bad decisions and good ones. Architects gamble with a client's money, but the failures can be safely contained in piles of paper. Built failures test people's patience and capacity for adaptation--but only for a little while.