Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Right-wing politicians are like hourly workers pretending to be bosses

There was an organizational psychologist ( Elliot Jacques)  born in the early years of the twentieth century who came up with an idea he called the time span of discretion. He observed that more complex jobs within an organization require thinking and planning in longer time frames. Hourly workers need to plan  only for the next task on the list, the next order on the chart, or the next part on the assembly line. Managers need to plan and organize by days and weeks. CEO's and owners need to plan for the long term, for growth and development over the course of years.
An organization is healthy with good prospects when there is a match between each person's responsibility and his/her ability to think along the appropriate time span.

The problem with right-wing conservatives, the so-called Tea Party politicians, is that they are like hourly workers in manager positions. They think in terms of short-term answers to long-term problems.
Do we need more and more energy every year to fuel our economy? Their answer is to exploit the same fossil fuels that are becoming scarcer and harder to extract every year.
Is the excess carbon emitted by these fuels causing climate change? Their answer is to cover their eyes and ears so they don't have to deal with it.
Reducing taxes makes people feel good in the short-term but creates problems in the long term when essential services are cut. Eliminating government regulations may seem like a fast way to create a business-friendly economy, but in the long run consumers learn to distrust businesses that gain an advantage by cutting corners.

The problems we are dealing with in the Middle East are a direct result of short-term thinking by President Reagan. When he came to the White House. practically the first thing he did was eliminate funding for alternative energy research. He pulled the solar panels off the White House roof.

We could have been energy independent by now. We could have been almost entirely weaned from our fossil fuel addiction.

We could be well on our way to reducing CO2 emissions and stabilizing climate change.

What kind of problems are the TeaPartiers creating now for our children? Fracking is guaranteed to pollute our groundwater for many generations to come. Cutting regulations is guaranteed to encourage unethical practices, dangerous short-cuts, and lack of trust. Cutting taxes for the wealthy is creating a vast inequality that threatens the very fabric of our social structure.

We don't need these small minded petty hacks in government. We  need visionaries who can look to the future and take some heat defending the basic principles our forefathers died for. We need people who can anticipate future problems and provide solutions  that are sustainable. We need people who understand that no man is an island, that  ultimately we all thrive or suffer together.
Too bad the political game is rigged against those kind of people.

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