I am amazed at the article I just read on the Washington Wire. Do you know what an oxymoron is? The fastest way to tell you, if you can’t quickly pull it to mind is with the old jokes “Marketing Intelligence, Rapid Transit, etc.”
This article is entitled: Determined Not to Make News, Emanuel Speaks of ‘Era of Reform’ (click here) where Rahm Emanuel said “. . . the current economic crisis offers opportunities for change that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” he said.. . .”
I remember in the late 80’s and early 90’s working for a company in North West Ohio that had been the cash cow of the parent company’s group of companies, and suddenly it was the anchor weighing everyone down. We tried many things and they were all failing till a new president came to lead our company and he started the turn around. Some of us young managers got so stick around, work our butts off and turn the place around and we learned a great deal. One of the key lessons the professors from Michigan and Cornell that were helping us told us, was that CHANGE is hard. The old inertia gets in the way. And that one of the ways to make a change was to have some kind of a Crisis.
Have you ever noticed that companies in Bankruptcy do very well in changing the mindset of their management teams and employees? Well, the ones we hear about are the ones that succeed, the others go quietly into the night, opening up new room for more successful companies. Rahm Emanuel is proposing taking full advantage of the crisis at hand to pass all kinds of changes, changes that if well thought out and greatly debated would never pass [and I’m afraid nor should they].
We made huge mistakes during the turn around, but we had a motto that served us well. Try anything, try everything, and if you fail please fail fast so we can go back and try something new quickly. When was the last time you’ve seen a government program turned back, or eliminated? I cannot remember one.
Mr. Emanuel went on, the article points out, to outline the five main priorities of the Obama Administration. As you read through them keep in mind what I said earlier about changes typically being permanent:
First: Health-Care Cost Control And Expansion Of Coverage.
If this means Government controlled health care I ask you to evaluate the following government successes over the years:
1) Social Security is constantly about to go bankrupt.
2) Medicaid and Medicare are constantly being cut back.
3) Ever hear of Medicaid Supplemental Insurance?
4) The post office (the last good post master general we had was Benjamin Franklin)
5) Interstate Highway system
6) Fannie Mae (thank you for buying mortgages that banks created with people who had no way of paying back)
7) Freddie Mac (thank you for the mortgage backed securities that collapsed our economy an most of the worlds as well)
8) Have you talked to a Vet and asked him what he really thought of the Veteran’s Hospitals?
9) What was the last innovation developed and capitalized by a government official? A bureaucrat? Anyone in Government?
10) How’s Amtrak Doing?
Second: Energy Independence and Alternative Energy
I’d truly like to know what all this entails. Are we going to drill within the reasonable limits offshore? Are we going to start the pipelines filling or are we going to wait for the 10 year plan from the campaign?
Third: Improving Tax Fairness and Simplicity
I’ve written so many BLOGs on the inappropriateness and costs of increasing taxes on the top 5% and therefore the key companies that create jobs, and then at the low end, is it 250,000 or is it 200,000 or is it 150,000 or 120,000 where small businesses will be hit with higher taxes? Please look at the Dow, quick! It had an increase today, but if taxes go up, watch it plummet again.
Fourth: Education Reforms
Reform the educational system that the government has been reforming since the 1970’s: is that what we’re going to do? Not sure he has a real plan, but there is one thing I’ve read that makes me feel hope in this area. Teachers will get good news and bad news. The good news: More money for the work they are required to do. The bad news: you’ll be measured for success and you’ll be moved to an area where you can contribute or you’ll be moved to a different profession. I hope that gets done. Our kids need a better education.
Fifth: Regulatory Overhaul that Boosts Transparency Accountability.
Is this another oxymoron?
It amazes me that the new Chief of Staff of the Obama Administration can clearly say that you should never let a serious crisis go to waste. Is that the same as saying that this crisis is well timed and beneficial? What about the millions of home owners that are suffering every day?
The Lee’s Summit Conservative.