If Queen Marie Antoinette actually said Let them eat cake, she didnt understand what was happening in France at the time. To her, the solution was simple; the peasants were short of bread, so offer them the closest substitute, cake. Legend has it that the ancient Chinese Emperor Hui suggested a similar solution. Upon being told that his subjects didnt have enough rice to eat, he was said to have replied Why dont they eat meat? Neither of these responses addressed the real problem of course.
Its easy to come up with a solution if you dont understand the problem. And thats the way it is, all too often, today. Quick fixes, wrong-headed notions – were full of them in business, in government and even in our personal lives. H.L. Mencken, an astute observer of mankind, said, There is always an easy solution to every human problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.