Here's two examples of what I'm talking about
An ideal citizen would be smart, ethical and politically engaged.
However, what usually happens in reality is this:
- If they're smart and politically engaged, they're not ethical.
- If they're ethical and politically engaged, they're not smart.
- If they're smart and ethical, they're not politically engaged.
The boss wants the work to be top-quality, done quickly and low-cost.
The tired worker tries to explain that:
- If it's done quickly and low-cost, it won't be top-quality.
- If it's top-quality and low-cost, it won't be done quickly.
- If it's top-quality and done quickly, it won't be low-cost.
Basically, it's "you can't have your cake and eat it too", but I wonder if there's a shorter name for it, something like "So-and-so's Clause".