Fire, Ready, Aim!

Alternate title: Move Fast and Break Things

So our dear president has appointed his son-in-law to a new governmental office that’s being described as a SWAT team for bringing ideas from the private sector to the federal government.  <sarcasm> And this is truly because Jared is the best man for the job, and not the fact that he’s sleeping with the president’s daughter.  And it should be an easy task, which will mesh well with his job advising the president on a dozen other things.  Truly, an inspired and presidential move. </sarcasm>

It isn’t hard to see why Trump is doing this.  He wants to be seen as the guy who moves in fast and gets things done.  So far, that reputation is taking a hit, what with all his accomplishments being executive orders, and all of which could be undone with a single signature by any future president.   By this time in his administration Barack Obama had already saved the world economy.  I think even Bush managed to pass a huge tax cut, or at least made a great deal of progress on it.  Giving this new team the reputation of a SWAT team is one way of improving his miserable record so far.  I can see a few problems with this.

Aside from the nepotism issues, one of the biggest problems is the whole structure of the government is designed to move slow.  It’s hard to pass a law.  It’s hard to amend the constitution.  It’s hard to get elected.  That’s the government the founding fathers built, and I think they were right to do so.  Change is slow, sometimes taking generations.  The best presidents have an idea of where they stand in history, and how they can help shape where it’s going.  I don’t think they tried to fix everything in one fell swoop.  Maybe that’s an outdated way of thinking, and maybe Trump is trying to change the speed at which government moves.  Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.  Is it possible that moving fast could have its own set of issues?

Anyone who follows an tech industry is likely to have heard the alternate title to this piece, move fast and break things, as a positive.  This is fine when you’re talking about phones, or how people take selfies.  If you break it, at worst you mildly inconvenience a few people.  Moving fast and breaking things isn’t a great idea for, say, an architect or a builder.  Or someone trying to rebuild one of the largest and most complicated systems of infrastructure in human history.  

Bringing ideas from the private sector to the public one is not a new idea.  I think that was the platform Herbert Hoover was elected on.  The reason we don’t try it more often is simple, it doesn’t really work.  The government is not a business.  It has a million far reaching and often contradictory goals, and none of them are to make money, unless you count actually printing money.  Call it another prediction, but I’m betting Jared’s new job is going to create a lot more problems than it solves.

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