I received an email from a reader recently who thanked me for my thoughts in my “View from the Bridge” series on the economic issues facing the world, but continued that it would be really helpful if I could take my thoughts one step further and propose solutions.
So, seizing the moment and urgency, I have started a series called “THE MASTERPLAN“, whereby I will look at a series of issues we are faced with and propose some thoughts and solutions.
If I could come up with a solution to the crisis the world is experiencing then surely I would be famous and extremely wealthy. Many would expect me to be showered with praise and receive millions of letters and calls from thankful people.
In an ideal world that would be the case but we do not live in an ideal world. As we are now seeing there are so many interest groups who place their goals ahead of that of the common good and getting agreement on any proposal is next to impossible.
In Australia the Opposition led by Malcolm Turnbull disagreed outright with the stimulus package put forward by the Rudd Labor Government and the Republican members in the House and Senate in the US unanimously opposed the Obama Stimulus package – all sounds a little political doesn’t it!
When we then take things a little further and start crossing country borders it starts getting even more complex. Our leaders cannot agree within country borders, therefore developing a co-ordinated approach involving two or three countries would be tough to say the least.
The idealistic “solution” that I was hoping would be welcomed with open arms is already looking shaky nationally. Once we cross country borders it is watered down even further and when we look toward supposedly united blocks of countries like the G8 or the European Union, the implementation of my “save all” plan is almost in need of a heart transplant.
It would be easy just to stop right now and say it is too hard and will never result in anything. It’s easier to pick holes in what others put forward as solutions and dramatize the situation without offering an alternative approach, no matter how simple or detailed.
Former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson offered a three page report to law makers when asking for nearly $1 trillion USD to bail out banks and selected companies, so even a one or two paragraph alternative would look like a Doctoral Thesis in comparison.
Can you imagine a three page application form asking for a loan for $1 trillion USD? It would be humorous on a comedy sketch show (like MAD TV or Saturday Night Live) but this actually happened which makes it all the more frightening.
I can’t help but laugh when imagining Henry Paulson trying to keep a straight face while reading from his three page document – did he really think it was adequate? I certainly hope he didn’t.
In an ideal world, countries and leaders would come together in an apolitical manner to work toward a complete solution. Unfortunately politics is always at play and the best solution is not always adopted as it may not suit individual interest groups. This should not stop us from working toward the ultimate or best solution as any “answer” will always be a shadow of the original concept.