Saturday, June 19, 2010

Competency and Analytical Thinking –Two Missing Components of our Ideological Wars

It is disheartening to watch our country in freefall while the two controlling ideologies major attempts at a solution is to blame the other party. The fact is that administrations from both sides have had their time in charge, with each one sowing seeds that made the situation worse. It is time we realized that the root problem is the mindless incompetency and lack of analytical thinking that has infected both our private and governmental institutions.

We face issues that are too complex to be resolved by blind adherence to either of the simplified ideologies being offered through our two party system. With only two parties controlling the political machinery and selecting the top management for government agencies we are given the choice of either a left wing or right wing administration. We are not tapping into the analytical skills of our country to obtainr the reasoned , balanced government most citizens desire.

A January 2010 post on this blog raised the question of just how much incompetence this great country can stand. The recent BP drilling incident shows that we are nearing the limit. The helpless frustration and disappointment is expressed in hundreds of articles in the media. This one is typical.

Incompetence is a well studied problem. A Google query on “government incompetency” returned 545,000 hits. A query on “private sector incompetency” returned 690,000 hits. There are probably several common sense paths to success buried in that mass of information. Unfortunately our internal arguments are so steeped in emotion and lacking in analytic thinking that we would not recognize them.

The first step in correcting this problem is to elect leaders who are capable of applying analytical thought to solving problems. We must eliminate the “suits” who can only recite party jingles. This requires a careful examination of all candidates, regardless of party.

I have formulated two initial questions for public meetings that I intend to use to test the competence and thinking skills of candidates for national office. I am sure you can formulate many more for your candidates.

Question #1

Our countries infrastructure is in terrible need of repair. We have millions of skilled Americans who are unemployed and ready to do the work. The American factories that produce the materials are operating well under capacity. Putting the workers and materials together with the required work would seem to be well within the capability of a competent government. Could you explain why that has not happened under our government and what you would do to correct the situation?

Question #2
We are finding that by off- shoring our manufacturing for many industrial sectors we have lost technical skills, created a dependency on foreign manufacturers, generated a large trade deficit, and exported millions of jobs previously held by Americans. The damage outweighs by far the marginally lowered retail costs to American consumers. Could you explain how this happened and how you would work to reverse this damaging trend?

Listen carefully to their answers. If they don’t reflect real thinking on the subject look for another candidate. Standard superficial party lines loaded with half truths are not acceptable.

Our Founding Fathers gave us the right and duty to choose our leaders. We have been much too accepting of low quality. We must demand more of ourselves and our candidates.