Who could have foreseen

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Any calamity that could have been prevented by the actions of a small number of official authorities will very likely be followed by baffled disclaimers from those authorities, asking rhetorically "who could have foreseen that this would happen?" Examples of this go back at least to the late 1800s.

I had a small collection of these quotes somewhere, but at the moment I cannot find them. Woozle (talk) 07:09, 7 July 2017 (EDT)


Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion.

—President Donald Trump, despite numerous sharp warnings[1]

We never anticipated that our critical infrastructure control systems would be facing advanced levels of malware.

—Jon Wellinghoff, the former chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 2017[2]

Experts and others have been warning for years that our energy infrastructure is vulnerable to digital infiltration.

Forecasters significantly underestimated the increase in unemployment and the decline in domestic demand associated with fiscal consolidation..."

—MF top economist Olivier Blanchard, 2013[3]

Who could have foreseen that "austerity" policies are terrible for an economy, despite decades of evidence since at least the Reagan-Thatcher era?

Obviously, we had no idea that we'd have an end result like this, or what was going on outside of here.

—Dan Moore, Superintendent of the South O’Brien Community School District, 2012[4]

...on the idea that bullying could lead to suicide.

I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.

George W. Bush, 2005[5]

Experts had been predicting for decades that the levee system was inadequate to deal with a really bad storm. Local officials had asked for federal help to repair and rebuild; see Hurricane Katrina/response and htwiki:User:Woozle/blog/2011-05-30 0908 Braindead Facebook comment of the day.