Monday, October 6, 2008

Bailing Out: Preferable to Sinking?

This may be dated a few days due to being away from the Internet, but here goes anyway:

The second Congressional iteration of the Administration's clumsy & arrogant attempt at rescuing the credit markets did pass and was thankfully signed by the President. which may also serve to somewhat rescue him as well.
But, will it work?
Who knows, but it ought to stand a better chance than doing nothing.
That would simply continue the gross irresponsibility that has already greatly aided and abetted our present sorry state of affairs.
I hope it works, and you readers out there ought to as well.
Already, major damage has been done to thousands, maybe millions, of innocent people in the US alone.
That discounts the ripple effect throughout the world.
If when the US sneezes, the World catches a cold, was this a sneeze or something worse?
Under the circumstances, approving this measure -flawed as it may be- was probably the best choice available.

But, seriously, how could this situation have been prevented?
Or at least have been responded to better.
Think something like an emergency contingency plan might have helped?
After all, most communities consider these plans both common and essential.
Just look at 9/11 and its aftermath which spawned the Dept of Homeland Security.
Or Bellingham's own disaster, the preventable Olympic Pipe Line explosion which killed 3 young men and narrowly missed doing more harm than we want to even think about.

How is it that the Federal Government gets away without providing similar contingency plans?
Who's job is it to be prepared for things like these?

• 9/11 & terrorism
• horrific weather events like Hurricane Katrina
• failing infrastructure
• ruinous unemployment
• serious economic downturns
• housing shortages
• healthcare gaps & epidemics
• food shortages
• water shortages
• hazardous wastes & practices
• crime
• electrical failures
• Internet failures
• fuel shortages
• fires
• global warming
• international unrest

Maybe the US Govt has contingency plans they haven't had to use yet, or maybe even elements of the bail-out plan had already been anticipated to some extent.
I don't know, but it didn't seem like it to me.
To the extent there were no contingency plans to rely upon in this financial situation, this ought to be rectified asap!

I can't imagine any responsible leader, military or otherwise, who would not have such plans ready for emergencies.
Certainly, the legendary Chinese General Sun Tzu, would have planned for such 'unanticipated' and adverse events.
After all, his philosophy went so far as to prefer 'victory without war'.
That sounds like the ultimate in contingency plans to me; to be so prepared and aware of events, that war is actually avoided!

Then there's the famous General von Clausewitz, whose writings are still taught in military academies.
Paraphrasing part of his thinking was the following;

There are 4 types of people; smart & energetic, smart & lazy, dumb & lazy and dumb & energetic.
You want the smart & energetic types to be your military planners because they think of everything that might happen and come up with a contingency plan to respond to it.
The smart & lazy types to be your generals because they know what to do but won't do it themselves.
The dumb & lazy types make good soldiers because they only do what they are told.
That leaves the dumb & energetic types, who you better hope are the enemy because they are no good at anything!

What type of people have we got in charge?
Think about it.
Now, let's change it.