Monday, February 9, 2009
© 2009, the Institute for Applied Common Sense
Unlike apparently most citizens, we haven't, here at the Institute, read the most recent versions of the economic stimulus bills proposed by the House and the Senate.
Consequently, we are not in a position to competently comment about them.
As a general rule, we try to refrain from judging legislation which we have not personally reviewed.
Additionally, we have not personally viewed all of the “legislative history,” to the extent that any actually exists at this point in time, to determine the specific intent of the writers of specific provisions.
Quite frankly, after all of the, what appears to have been intentional misinformation or false information disseminated by various factions during the presidential campaign, we are not inclined to believe some of the partisan media outlets and organizations, and most of the spin out there.
We realize, as does most of the public, that with most laws, after being enacted in broad terms by a legislative body, some administrative agency (consisting of bureaucrats and not elected officials) actually interprets the goals of the legislation. It writes the rules and regulations applicable thereto, thus generating the details for implementation.
Being aware of that, we are simply not in a position to contest anything which any faction might suggest.
However, we will note this.
If it were all that simple, to come up with the formula, as so many seem to suggest these days, it would have been done by now.
By this we mean that, if society, including the top people in the field of economics, had arrived at some clear consensus about what works under these circumstances (including a true cause and effect relationship), with some degree of certainty, we would have done it by now.
Obviously we haven’t figured out what works, at least not with any degree of certainty.
That's just common sense.
In an emergency, you do what works based on experience, assuming you’ve been there before, or you switch into a common sense survival mode.
However, this is not about common sense, because this is not about the American people as a collective whole. It’s far more complicated than that.
This is significantly about what the politicians can get for their constituents back home, in the various 50 states, and various thousands of counties and cities.
And thus the potential beneficiaries are not similarly situated or interchangeable units.
We’re afraid that this is, quite simply, just another exercise in herding cats.
And lots of them.
Of all different breeds and sizes.
And with different appetites, including some mountain lions, cougars, and panthers.
You can't have this many individual elected officials, each trying to advance their own personal interests and the interests of their constituents, and come up with anything that makes “common” sense.
Apart from the common sense issue, this “effort” defies even the most basic principles of organizational management theory. Keep in mind that governance, in theory, is about management.
Simply put, there is no central, unifying purpose or goal, upon which the citizens have agreed.
Rarely has a nation found that degree of unity in purpose in the absence of war.
Right now, we’re too busy squabbling amongst ourselves, and we will continue to do so, even after a measure is passed.
Just think about it. What is the probability of success of this measure after passage, when some factions will continue to whack and snip away at it?
That’s roughly akin to a marriage where the parents of each spouse spend each day telling their child why he or she should not have entered into the marriage, and why it will not work.
As if they don’t have enough problems with which to deal without the parental involvement.
If we truly viewed this as a broad-sided attack on our survival and ultimate existence economically, we’d all be facing the same direction, with similarly drawn weapons, ready to defend against the oncoming missiles lobbed our way.
Instead, we’re spending the bulk of our time attacking one another.
And with ferocity.
At least we’re a colorful bunch of cats.
We’d like to find someone willing to put a substantial wager down on the probability of success of this team winning the roll of the dice.
Just let us know. We’ve got our money ready.
© 2009, the Institute for Applied Common Sense
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