Editorial #94 Infrastructure
Our government provides only three basic functions: Infrastructure, Security and making laws that are fair, truthful, sustainable with integrity (no false or self-serving agendas).
All these functions have a price tag and we try to elect politicians with integrity who are supposed to determine the best way to use tax dollars to provide these basic functions. Tax dollars should not use them to buy votes. Our system of campaigns is supposed to allow us to determine if the candidate has integrity. Their career experience and success in private industry is a good indicator. Having only government experience a very bad sign for a politician as they believe their job is to point out problems and blame someone else, but never fix anything.
When a constituent expresses problems, it often sounds like complaining with nothing said in the way of a solution. Voter wants is for it fixed. They usually do not care how. In the consulting world there is one answer for every question. It will never be exact, but something close is usually good enough. The career politician will say: “Let’s put together a task force and study it.” That is code for: “I have no idea what to do”.
In business we must make a good guess at the price to fix anything. I know it will cost more than one dollar and less than a billion, so let’s get it close! The objective is to visualize a solution, see if it is worth fixing and triangulating to the objective. We must also determine the cost if nothing is done. One does not spend a million dollars repairing a bridge without knowing how much money is lost if it is not fixed.
Politicians have been trained to think their job is to stand in front of the parade because they believe that makes them a leader. How can one lead if they do not know where they are going? One does not wear a blind fold at a target range. You must see what you are trying to hit. The same goes with efficient government. Any proposal must see what the solution looks like before they start and consider the unintended consequences. The problem with our welfare system is: regardless of how much money is spent, the problem never seems to improve with the amount spent continuing to grow, often making the problem worse.
These fundamental business and engineering principles are the foundation of critical thinking and problem solving. This is how private industry works. Why does government not seem to work? It is because it does not run it like a business. They do not look at what money is saved for the tax payer when they invest your tax dollars. I am afraid most in congress only look at how many more votes they will get for re-election. They think making everything free is the easiest way to get your vote and blame their opponent for all your problems.
All we can do is teach others to be as self-sufficient as possible and not expect the government to solve all our problems. Our obligation to our family and those we love is to teach: we can be part of the problem or part of the solution and we must know which one we are.
This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.