The economy is similar to physical therapy (PT). They know how to fix the problem, but it requires a bit of pain and suffering. It also requires a change to the normal routine and usually requires daily or some other scheduled exercises. If the patient does not adhere to the schedule, the PT is ineffective and the ailment persists and, in many cases, gets worse. Same with the economy; spend money on stupid crap and the ailment persists, or gets worse.
The problem is not the diagnoses or the treatment, it is the pain and suffering the American people must endure to make it better. This analogy, ironically, extends to many of the Country’s health care problems as well. We know what causes obesity and how to rectify it, but it continues to grow (excuse the pun) as a national problem. Heart disease, diabetes and other health issues are exacerbated by weight issues, but if anyone dare suggest a limit on soda, candy or Big Macs, they are immediately accused of constitutional rights violation. Or worse, civil rights! God forbid suggesting daily exercise.
The problem has been identified, the solution is clear, but the American people have no interest in implementing the solution. Why? Part of the problem is business. They have been riding a gravy train for decades and have no interest in seeing it stop, or even slow down. It likes the subsidies and ability to adjust tax code and other guidelines that allow them to maximize profit while impeding competition. When competition is scarce, any tax increases placed upon them will easily be passed along to the consumer. Congress knows this too and is incapable of coalescing to pass solid policy changes.
It is not only business.
People don’t want any big changes. It creates turmoil and makes people upset. If the changes necessary are implemented, the result will be layoffs and at best, a recession. It will make 2009 look pretty. The changes needed to fix the ailment are tough. Think of the worst PT you experienced. It will be worse than that!
The country needs to get back to personal accountability. Education is broken, but some solid PT can fix it. It requires a change to the normal routine, not to mention the pain and suffering required to establish this new schedule. The push for responsibility will change the dynamic of many industries. The problem of “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” will resolve itself since no organization will be able to afford the elaborate headdresses. People will perform grunt labor and be paid little for it. It will drive home the education disparity. If you have no skills, no education, and are starting from a deficit position, it will be extremely difficult. It will drive efficiency and productivity as innovation and process improvement will again be valued. Statistically, this will undoubtedly result in screams of discrimination, but in most cases, they will be unwarranted.
Society can’t afford to allow people to continue to do nothing and refuse PT. Eventually, enough people will suffer through PT and see its value. They will cease to have any sympathy for those that complain. They will insist those folks do their PT time. Unfortunately, there is much civil unrest and pain and suffering to endure before the critical mass shifts from supporting and placating the indolent to demanding engagement and contribution.
It will happen, either by design or default.