The Price of Freedom
In Root-Cause Analysis the key is to identify the true cause of a failure, versus just applying fixes to the consequences/symptoms of the failure. If, for example, a part in a machine is constantly wearing out much sooner than it should, then one “fix” would be to schedule more frequent replacement of the part…making it appear that it is wearing out ON schedule. In reality, the root-cause of the part’s failure may be much deeper, and not discovering it will at least result in excessive cost…if not a disastrous failure later on.
A simpler example is one that almost everyone who ever drove a vehicle has experienced…at least once: driving with the ‘Emergency Brake’ on. You apply the gas and the car moves sluggishly. That is the symptom. Applying more, maybe MUCH more, gas will make the car move faster…thus masking the root-cause of the car’s poor performance: the BRAKE IS ON! Mask this symptom long enough and you burn out the car’s brakes…and maybe damage its engine in the process.
My father-in-law, RIP, was a physician. He once provided me with a splendid medical metaphor for “Root-Cause Analysis” (something I was heavily involved in streamlining at the company I worked for). Appendicitis.
Some of the symptoms of Appendicitis are: abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and fever…separately and/or in various combinations. As my father-in-law noted, you can treat and MASK each and every one of those symptoms…one by one…and wind up killing your patient in the process! (also, just because someone has a fever and is nauseous, doesn’t mean you should rip their appendix out!)
Diagnosis (root-cause analysis) is key.
The American economy is sick. Period. Consider some of the symptoms…and the masking going on:
- Inflation…being masked by the government removing key consumer items from the “Inflation Index”, and companies reducing product packaging sizes
- Unemployment…being masked by the government reducing the ‘Labor Participation Rate’, massive government hiring, and extending Unemployment benefits for two years (and beyond)
- Manufacturing…being masked by “Stimulus” of GM, Solydra, et al. i.e. the government pumping billions of $$$ into industries to make them APPEAR healthy and sustainable
Our government is obsessed with “treating” each symptom, to shield Americans from any and every harsh consequence. As with Appendicitis, the treating & masking of the symptoms is only delaying/denying identification and treatment of the root-cause(s) of the decline of the American economy. As with Appendicitis, the consequences of such an approach are deadly.
I almost lost my brother a long time ago, because his doctor treated his symptoms one by one…until his Appendix burst! Of course, America doesn’t just have “Appendicitis”…America has LOTS of ailments, on every front. And the symptoms of all of those ailments are being actively masked and/or ignored by our government and media. Discussion of “root-causes” is forbidden!!
Root-cause analysis is difficult, and often the fix for the root-cause is costly and even painful. But the pain and cost can literally be the price of survival…and in America’s case, the Price of Freedom.