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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Caution, Mr. Obama, When Considering a Quick Fix

I realize that the national economy is much more complicated than my own finances but I wonder if some of the mistakes I have made when trying to fix something quickly would apply on a grander scale. Here are some of the things that I have learned.

People who provide quick fixes generally have their own best interests at heart. There is something in this for them or they wouldn't want you to make the decision so quickly. I have been in many stores where the salesman has told me that the price they are giving me today won't apply if I walk out of the store. I have always looked for the exit sign. Sure, I may have missed a deal sometime somewhere but they are using fear to keep me from looking around. I have found that looking for more solutions takes longer but it usually pays off.

Quick fixes have often caused delayed and long term problems. We take our time allowing a drug to hit the general public because we don't know what the long term problems might be. Even then, we find many of them causing problems well past the testing period when released to a greater number of users. We need to know some history before we make a leap. Study the Great Depression and you will find at least four theories of why it happened. It may have been all of them but it surprises me that we still are not definitive about something that happened over eighty years ago. We can look at the result of the quick fixes. What problems did they spawn?

Doing the wrong thing means you have less chance of doing the right thing. It will be a trade-off. You can't take the money back once it is given out. You will not have the money to do something different. Careful consideration will generally give better results.

Not all problems require action. Sometimes things will right themselves. The best action may be no action is some cases. Allowing others to take responsibility for their mistakes helps them guard against those same mistakes. Their pain will be real and you should hurt for them but they may need to go through it without a fix.

I want your administration and the economy to do well. I, however, do not want partisan politics to prevent either of these from happening. We as a nation need to understand that our government does not exist so that we will have a utopia. All of us, not just the government, must take responsibility for solving our problems. This attitude will promote responsible action in the future so that we will not have these same problems in the near future.

Just be cautious, Mr. President, when considering what others urge you to do.

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