I Often Wonder…..

June 1, 2013

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I often wonder how our government survives, let alone efficiently, doing the people’s business. In the engineering world where I spent thirty years of my life there was an old saying “Design By Committee”. All of us engineers knew that the more people you have involved in solving a problem the less likely that you would come up with a good answer. Design by committee is similar to “Too many chefs spoil the pot” in the cooking world.

The above cartoon shows us that this is also true with our current way of doing business in government circles. When you get 535 people involved in just about anything nothing productive can come from it.  I think the best thing that congress could do for the USPS is to just cut them loose to make their own decisions. Giving them mandate after mandate and then telling them you don’t like their solutions is, well, stupid.

Not all businesses, especially ones so thoroughly regulated by government can make it on their own. I am very familiar with that since I worked for the world’s largest telephone company before it was de-regulated. I can’t even describe the cultural shock that went through that company when they were set adrift so to speak. I kind of liked the idea of having more reign of what we would be designing but many if not most of the upper management were just fear-stricken.

Let’s take the US off the USPS and see what happens. Their business is a dwindling one so if they are to survive without government subsidies they will need to re-invent themselves.  If they fail then there are several other private companies that can come in and meet the shrinking demand while it continues to be there.

Congress just can’t seem to understand they are not very good at innovative thinking. There is just too many people with veto power it seems.  When they looked at our ever-expanding healthcare costs they wisely decided to let a smaller, less political, group attack the problem.  That group was  called Simpson/Bowles after the two leaders.  It took them what seemed like an eternity in the private enterprise world to come up with ideas for reigning in healthcare costs. Many of their solutions were pragmatic and would likely help ameliorate the problem. But, as usual congress took the report and then did absolutely nothing with it. The politics of today almost mandated that end result.

If you are new to this blog you might think these are the words of one of those tea party wing nuts but let me tell you  that I am by NO MEANS one of that group.  Our government has an honor bound duty to do the people’s business. A big part of that is to keep us safe via police, firemen, regulators and such.  Another it to keep our infrastructure sound and progressively moving forward. These duties take a massive effort and we elect representatives to accomplish those things. If they are not up to the task then it is “our” duty to remove them from their office and to put someone else in there who might do it better. The solution is not to shut down government because we have chosen so unwisely in the last few decades.  I hope the Centrist movement helps us with correcting that.