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As Long as We Remember...

October 8, 2012

The Problem Solving Cycle

Steven R. Berryman

Since America typically elects the president she thinks is best capable of fixing the problems at hand, a brief survey of how the problem solving cycle works is in order. The master rule is to always stay in the box – and never fully fix a problem.


Leaving a job partly undone, especially during a first term, assures that there will be a need for – and hopefully a call for – a second term to “finish the job.”


Hence the slogan: “Four more years!”


Of course, in our case, this would be giving President Barack Obama far too much credit, as so many facets of our lives come unglued at the same time in our perfect storm of American decline. Currently we grasp at a self-serving moral certitude, working on social agenda, in place of a real effort to add jobs and fix the economy, in part because only time and attrition can allow this type of monumental healing.


The problem solving cycle works best when we first create the problems ourselves, and then pronounce that we will be solving them; this intimacy allows for a more nuanced approach. Sincerity is very important!


Big Government is the gift that perpetually keeps on giving in this regard; unfortunately. The main recipients are the career politicians we sheepish Americans continue to re-elect, especially to Congress, with their amazing approval ratings.


Some geniuses once conceived of a Social Security System – on moral grounds – in order to fairly assure at least a minimal safety net for the chronically or habitually unfortunate in our great land. This was justified because, “a great nation is judged by how it treats its own needy.”


Well, with great moral superiority and no discussions with the financial risk assessment department, we began going above and beyond on that; we supplied more than subsistence in a land where even the poor have flat screen TVs and SmartPhones, and out-did ourselves unlocking the trust fund lock box of Social Security taxes paid-in to fund American debt in real time. This is the ultimate example of kicking the can down the road.


So, in 2012 we cannot self-fund our wars, and we even borrow for this exact purpose from a key potential foreign enemy to do so in an ultimate irony.


We must elect more professional politicians to help us fix this egregious problem!


There are many other examples of self sustaining systems that mirror the Government-to-Government problem solving paradigm that illustrate the operating principle:


Computers: For years, software engineers who work in concert with the big anti-virus companies like Norton and McAfee have been doing side jobs creating Trojan horses, malware, and malicious code that infect your computer. The infections they cause justify the extortion of your $50 per year subscription to their protection racket. Viruses are already inserted in your factory sealed new computer box!


Military: For generations, the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex has invented systems to spy on others (including ourselves) that – based on the sheer numbers involved – always find an enemy that we need to be preparing for with an even better line of weapons, in order to be prepared.  More surveillance yields more findings yields more paranoia yields a higher defense budget, which pays for even more surveillance!


Religion: Regardless of whether you are a true believer (in anything) or not, it is undeniable that a “fear of God” is sewn into our culture at the earliest possible age. Of course, this justifies the indulgences paid for in the quest for absolution along the way.


Medicine: More diagnostic equipment discovers more medical issues earlier on that allow for more extended prognoses, which costs more, which can be invested in yet another magnetic resonance imagery device. However, past age 60 you may be denied usage of said device if not financially viable under Obamacare.


Lastly, lobbying efforts for the above categories of circular behavior pay off most reliably on Capitol Hill. Campaign contributions funneled in surreptitiously to these persuasive ends will yield loop-holes and exceptions for non-profits and warmongers alike, which can then fund politicians who are themselves true believers – at least to the appropriate causes!


When will the American “sheeple” wake up to see that real and permanent solutions to expensive and destructive long-term problems are not even being seriously considered by our leaders, even in an election cycle when all are on their best behaviors?


It’s all about perpetuating the game; for the next generation….of politicians.


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