Saturday, November 11, 2006

Babbling Is Ever a Folly

I am amused that institutions that thrive on performance and the continuation of positive effect are content and comfortable with a deadlocked government.

This seems at first glance to be paradoxical. If the institutions that value progressive and positive movement, such as business, are happy to see the government elected by the people drawn to a conflicted standstill, what does this say for the government?

In a more perfect world it would follow logic that a properly functioning republic form of government would be an aid to the welfare of the people governed. If we define ‘aid to the welfare of the people’ I believe it would fall into a framework of economics and supply of need that is economics based. However for many years now we see that business and Wall Street typically function better for the people when government is stricken with partisan deadlock.

That last sentence is my opinion, also supported by other writers and record keepers. It could be argued that significant legislation such as welfare reform has in fact aided the populace all around and that it was affected by a divided government. I would counter my counter argument by pointing out that welfare reform was a 'too long coming' compromise between political parties hammered out over documented failings that were statistically conclusive. In other words, it was a ‘no-brainer’.

In the beginning the founders of the country forged law and set the tone for growth in an orderly fashion, though it can also be pointed out that its efforts fell short of respecting the original inhabitants and could not avoid a civil war within the US. Nevertheless I think the legislation designed and passed by early congresses helped us set an example of a thriving and successful republic for the rest of the world.

Now we have seemingly arrived at the point where the lack of a functioning congress brings a period where the performance institutions that surround us applaud and breathe a sigh of relief.

Is it possible too much legislation is the culprit? Is it possible to make too many rules?

I will take you weirdly out of context for a moment and I readily confess to the digression being significantly skewed, but if we take professional sports as an example of an institution that values progress and is non-ceasing in its efforts to transcend toward its ultimate perfection, we know that the players, managers and coaches are under significant scrutiny.

Managers that cannot bring success and players that do not measure up by viable measuring standards are released and others are given a chance to prove they are better capable of delivering positive results. In the case of the Texas Rangers this season the manager was released because the players rejected his extensive use of rules, including what they could wear on an airplane, dictates about uniforms, and clubhouse hours and more. Two teams have gone on the next season to World Series championships the year after firing this same manager. A close friend of mine, employed in professional baseball for the past 32 years, tells me this is for no other reason than that the players are able to return to playing baseball without the oppressive managers rules that regulate everything except their performance. They are so relieved to be rid of the oppression of too many rules that they perform way above expectations the following year.

This sounds familiar to me when I think about this phenomenon of business being happy with the congresses ability to do nothing.

Maybe we are altogether better off to suspend the rules making when it now takes experts to interpret only one of the hundreds of rulebooks before us. Maybe Wall Street is on to something worth examining.

Ben Franklin said, “Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a folly.” I think I would have liked Ben Franklin a great deal.


Reach said...

Mr. Franklin- truly a colorful and wise man, whom I love to quote for his humor. I think his history in the UK is fascinating.

I find humor in today's Government- for decades we opposed the Soviet Union, and now with the rules brought forward, I find some (and only some)similarities with the Book of Marx. Could this be a new direction for our country? After all, when the Cold War was prominent in the public's mind, we had less legislation than we do today.

Just a thought,


Jenn said...

I think you make some interesting usual. The thing that has me pondering - regarding the elections and government - is that so many of the "wins" could have been losses if not for a percentage point or two.

The country is divided...or near enough. It's as if we have a giant tug-o-war going on...and each side is as strong (or as weak) as the other.

I agree - there are too many rules - but I figure that we the people need to pick a goal and move towards it together. All this bickering about how we get there is ridiculous. Talk about getting lost in the shuffle.

Seven said...

That's a fascinating thought you raise. It makes me wonder about the playbook of any given ideology and whether or not the size of the playbook is instrumental in the governments efiicency or non-efficiency. I know the US playbook is massive. The amount of regulation and nonsense is easily shown by the debacle with FEMA trailers parked in a location for months now, at enormous expense, and not serving a single useful purpose to Katrina victims. What is even more comical/sad is it seems to offer the opportunity for Bush haters to hate and blame him more when it is the legislation and red tape passed years ago by other politicians that is causing the problem. Now it's a sad circumstance because the admin and dept heads cannot afford to break the law and be sent straight to congressional hearings by the political partisans. (and it works both ways)
Too much regualtion and law that only serves to hurt the governed citizens is what our friend Franklin might call the 'folly of babbling'.

I really think there are more folks with level thinking and rational minds than we realize. Your rationality reminds me of my daughter (visiting this weekend)She,like you,has a remarkable range of comprehension about people and policy, and holds the same positive hope for her child's better world. By opening the door of my blog a small crack to politics I would hope to foster the rational voices among us. By rational I mean the ideas I spoke of before, that we can disagree and simultaneously cherish the opportunity to debate, respect and care about one another. I may not agree with Rob and Rob may not agree with Reach, and Jenn may not agree with Seven but it no cause for hate and name calling.
I have frequently lamented to friends in conversation (friends whose demeanors I trust)that it would be an enormous benefit to the country if we could find focus on the true enemy to our children and legacy and quit building enemies out of our fellow Americans. I include Sean Hannity and Charles Schumer in my personal list of Americans that need a muzzle. They are both a danger to our country in my opinion. My list is longer than those two and carefully divided between camps, just like Noah's Ark.

patti_cake said...

You know I believe in "structure" but too many rules is... stifling. Among other things.
I'm a big believer in "don't sweat the small stuff". Oppression rarely gets any results never mind good ones. Just my two cents chiming in

Anonymous said...

"Maybe we are altogether better off to suspend the rules making when it now takes experts to interpret only one of the hundreds of rulebooks before us."

I sincerely agree with this sentiment. I do not believe it is possible, but it would be good . . . in the perfect world. The unfortunate thing about it is that, because we are humans, given the ability to think, to reason with logic, every law, indeed, every word has a different context for each person who speaks/hears it based on their own experiences. Laws become necessary because we have the ability to reason and interpret, yet because of our individual development, we each have a different interpretation, based on our life experiences. We try to sort out the harvested grain to separate the wheat from the chaff, (and excuse a ridiculous statement here) but perhaps my wheat is your chaff. Because we reason differently. Not because I'm good and you're bad, just . because . we . have . learned . to . interpret . differently.

Sadly, if you look at history, when nations become "advanced," what follows is frequently a downfall, much of it based on interpretations (and some purposefully twisted interpretations) of "the rules."

Yeah, it would good to stop everything and sort out the bits and pieces of laws and reconstruct them in a way that makes sense, cutting out duplications or conflicts, avoiding misuse. Can you imagine the daunting task? I feel dizzy just thinking about it.

I wish it could happen. Can you imagine the massive trouble that could arise? I guess I'm feeling a bit(?) cynical today, but I think there would be a flurry of buzzards tearing at the carcass of the rules during the suspension, resulting in even more devastating results. No, seven, I'm afraid I think the best thing to do is keep up the good fight, to keep trying to do what ever we can to make our communities safe and sane.

Hey! Here's a thought! Let's form a committee to sort out the rules for us!! That should employee several hundred(thousand?) people for decades to come! I'll volunteer, if the salary is good, 'cause it's another job with security!

I am cynical today, aren't I? Bah, humbug, I'm going back to bed. ;-)

Seven said...

I agree, structure is good, opression is suffocating.

Excellent point I think about the infection of fixing the rules infecting the fix. Maybe a little cynical, but I bet you feel better now...:) And besides my entire post is cynical....

Anonymous said...

Ahhh. So, May I blame your post for my cynicism?? Nah, I was there when I woke up this morning. This is the first grumbly day I've had in a long time, but I won't blame it on you, my friend. ;-)

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