When I began my Healthcare Consulting career at Jackson & Coker (now Jackson Healthcare) in the early 1980’s, my boss, Rick Jackson, often opined regarding poor performance, “If you keep doing the same thing the same way, you get the same results.” Over the years, I have heard similar phrases used as a definition of insanity and other negative words. But the truth is right there. This is why we study history.
In the 1930’s, with the depression deepening, FDR “went to the bullpen” and drug out the strategy of the Russian (read Stalin) and European Progressives to take over the crisis (read Rahm Emanuel) and bring about restoration of the economy. His actions, mythically, have been touted as the cure-all for the economic crisis. But those stubborn facts prove otherwise. In her book, The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes details the history of the depression and how FDR’s policies actually extended the misery. The onset of WWII and the massive economic buildup to fight the war and post-war manufacturing and technological boom made this country the economic engine of the planet.
Come forward to today and the Obama administration has taken the whole playbook from FDR and attempted to duplicate it. Guess what? “You keep doing the same thing the same way, you get the same results.” And so we are. Despite spending $3 trillion on wasteful, vote-buying spending, the American economy is still struggling. And with each crisis grabbed by the “Progressives” in the White House and Congress, more harm is done to the republic. Despite the best spin DC could attempt, job numbers in the private market continue to slide. Despite cheating the numbers with census workers (hiring, firing, then re-hiring the same people), they still cannot fool the market as it plunges on word of lackluster employment.
So what is their answer? Hire more government workers. Despite his efforts in the 1930’s to put the unemployed to work (Now that’s an idea. What would we achieve by putting 75% of people on welfare to work somewhere to benefit the republic for the benefits they receive?), the nation still stumbled in depression until WWII. Currently, government workers earn on average twice what private sector workers earn and their benefits are much higher. Their unfunded benefits plans are an awaiting tsunami for the American taxpayer. Unemployment in Washington, D.C. is the lowest in the nation. Surprised? When the going gets tough, Washington circles the wagons (the Beltway) and adds to its troops for the coming retrenchment.
My answer? Immediately bring government compensation and benefits in line with the private sector. Why does government somehow escape the ebbs and flows of market forces? Are government workers immune from downturns in the economy so that they are not laid off or have their compensation or benefits reduced? Stop giving away more of our money (which we are currently borrowing) to other countries, unionized government-seized businesses, SEIU, ACORN, pork projects, and deficit spending. Enough is enough.
The best answer? The progressive administration and its ineffective congress keep this up for another few months and the results will be drastically different on November 2, 2010. If 1994 was not your wake-up call, this year will be a siren into their faces. Simply put, the progressive agenda is being revealed as a massive failure.