One of the key principles of Engineering Thinking is to rely wherever possible on actual evidence. Therefore, given a design challenge, engineers typically start by doing a lot of research; why reinvent the wheel? If good hard data are available that answer the question at hand, then the issue is resolved and the team can move on to other challenges.
This scientific process does not have to be restricted to questions about integrated circuits, robots, nuclear energy, or other hi-tech products; it can be applied to any issue. One of the major issues of our day — and for many decades prior — has been the debate over the pros and cons of big versus limited government. As we’ve pointed out previously (“It’s Just A Systems Thing: An Engineering Thinking Review Of Government As A System“), governmental organizations generally perform poorly compared to free market alternatives.
But what about the empirical evidence? For one example, please check “Detroit: The Triumph of Progressive Public Policy“, by Jarrett Skorup, 6 July 2009, Mackinac Center for Public Policy.