Failure of the American Federal Government


Until America has a functioning government, nothing can be done to mitigate the problem Americans face with technology displacement and obsolescence.

We’ve just seen how the infusion of mass media and mass marketing technologies has rendered our government inert and ineffective at addressing those problems pressing down on Americans. Complaints abound across American society of the failings of the Federal Government, of one sorts or another, some which are small and petty while others are not. In this section, we will discuss four significant failings of our government, that has rendered it dysfunctional, as well as with state, county, and local governments. These are:

1) Quality of elected representatives - Just as Speaker Tip O’Neill warned, we now have representatives that govern us, who have little to no education or relevant experience. They are skilled at little more than using the mass media to create and maintain images and illusion, neither being real viable solutions to problems. The true measure of an education is the ability to understand the world you live in, and in the twenty-first century, that means having your sciences and math. The bulk of those elected to congress are lawyers or political science, who I consider to be just a watered down lawyer. Reading the law is the education of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, it’s the education of the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and while the law is still a very important factor in a society, studying it doesn’t give you the understanding of the modern world. And this is the crux of the problem . . . we have a preponderance of sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century people charged with leading the American people into the twenty-first century.

Like a blind man tasked with leading the parade- they are tasked with doing the impossible and therefor going nowhere.

2) Inertia of large organizations (including governments) - As an organization becomes larger, it becomes more sluggish and non-responsive to changes, and hence is unable to function. This holds true for all governments including the Federal Government. This is apparent with governmental regulatory agencies such as OSHA (Office Safety Health Administration) , FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) which have all been in the news more than once for failures at regulating. When first instituted, they seem to do what they were established to do, but over time such organizations seem to become lethargic with diminishing effectiveness. I suspect one major thing causing this is the dropping of their tooth-to-tail ratio. 

Tooth to Tail Ratio - A measure of mission workers verse support workers. In other words, the people who are actually out doing the work as opposed to those who are back at the office doing administrative work in support of the field workers. A prime example of this is the American Army, which has a tooth-to-tail ratio of 13%. Only thirteen out of every hundred soldiers are directly involved in combat.

The same holds for other organizations, in or out of governments. The field workers (inspectors) would rather be sitting back in the office where it’s comfortable and relaxing, and have the opportunities to socialize, and be amongst friends during the day. Consequently, they are always looking for a transfer into the office, especially if it means a promotion and pay raise. In hand with this are managers building empires, both small and large. Their promotion and advancement financially is dependent on the number of people working under them, so there is a strong incentive to create new positions and expand their organization, usually with more support people.

The net result is the tooth-to-tail ratio continually drops leaving a bloated organization more concerned with its internal functioning and procedures than what it was originally created to do. This isn’t unique to government agencies, the same process of decay occurs in the commercial world. However, they have the ‘negative feedback’ of the marketplace to stabilize and periodically correct the process by reorganization and downsizing thereby keeping the tooth-to-tail ratio more consistent.

In control systems, using negative feedback is the classical method for keeping a system stable and controllable and therefore functioning.

3) Public Education - The failing of the public education system is probably one of the most glaring examples of government failure. Receiving more monetary funding per student than almost all other countries, the ranking of student academic achievement is in the mid twenties to low thirties leaving America behind most western nations. In 1903, the Wright brothers first flew a heavier than air machine, by doing some remarkable engineering research work. You often hear how the brothers were ‘just highschool graduates’ who own a bicycle shop. Well, in 1903, someone with a highschool education was considered a well educated person. At best . . . and there is a lot of data suggesting otherwise, but at best, the highschool education today is no better than 1903. Today’s highschool graduate gets jobs little better than cleaning the toilets and sweeping the floors. Today, 20 to 25% of college graduates are underemployed or unemployed, so why would a company want a highschool graduate who might or might not have adequate reading, writing and basic math skills when he can hire college graduates?

For years, whenever the education system is challenged for their deplorable performance of readying American children for life, they always counter with demands for more money. Their only solution is to garner more monies for their arena of teachers and facilities, despite already getting far more monies than other nations who consistently outperform American children on academic achievement. Clearly, money isn’t the problem. It’s the failing of those agencies charged with educating the children. It is the responsibility of, and is expected of, any manager holding a position of responsibility to work problems . . . to identify them, analyze the problem, generate possible solutions, then select and implement a solution, and finally monitor to ensure its maximum effectiveness at solving the problem. It’s another failing of a government agency to perform their prescribed mission for the people.

4) American Judicial System - According to the National Center for Crime Statistics, the American judicial system has a little less than 2% effectiveness in felony crimes. That’s the whole American judicial system- Federal, state, county, municipal and local. For every one hundred felony crimes in America, only about two will every result in arrest, indictment, trial, conviction, sentencing and the serving of some of that sentence. How often do policemen or prosecutors pull rap sheets that are twenty, thirty, forty or more pages long? That alone demonstrates the failing of the American judicial system to control crime of all sorts, from violent to petty theft to the vices. Yet, we the people accept this without ever considering the absurdity of it.

Would we accept a 2% success rate for having our automobiles repaired? That would mean only one in ever fifty cars taken to a garage would ever be repaired, while the other forty-nine people would pay, but get nothing to drive off in. If our doctor told us we had a cancer and there was only a one in fifty chance of surviving, we would get our funeral and personal affairs in order for what is almost the inevitable day. Statutes to protect us from felony crime is fundamental to any government, either modern or archaic, it is one of the core responsibilities of all governments. Failure to meet this responsibly is a gross failing of a government, and in turn that means a failed government.

Conclusion - It is imperative to have a real functioning government before any of the problems facing Americans, especially the millennials and generation-Zs, can be seriously addressed. This problem of obsolescence and technology displacement is probably the most challenging we’ve every had to face, with consequences that can only be termed ‘unimaginable’. Therefore, the government, starting at the top, must be returned to functionality which means restoring the balance.

The Federal government isn’t, by far, the only American government suffering from poor to non-performance. Even small governments in small remote hamlets of America can suffer and for the same reasons as the Federal government. So lets next take a look at a case study for such a situation.

Examples of Failures | Fourth Estate | Mass Media | Solution - the Four Amendments | Help with Funding

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