Leadership Riddle: When Does Something Sound Ideal, But Maybe Isn't? - 5 Examples
This present election cycle, which has included far more theatrics, very few specifics, and an over-reliance on mere sound-bytes and generalities, has exemplified the fact that although many statements, promises, and premises, may sound great, there are often numerous ramifications, which might impact the eventual quality of the performance (i.e. the reality). Often, overly simplistic statements or ideas, merely focus on popular issues, etc., which may resonate with the sentiments, feelings, and even biases of others, simply are not the right (or best) way to proceed. We all must beware of buying into the hype and/or rhetoric, and rather understanding the need to thoroughly examine the possibilities and/or ramifications. Here are 5 examples:
1. Raise the minimum wage to $15: While humane feelings tell us that the present minimum is too low and that it must be at least at a level where people can live above the poverty (or borderline) level, it is also essential to look at the possible reality or ramifications. Raising the wage will obviously increase a company's costs of doing business, and this could result in either businesses closing (or not expanding), higher overall costs, or one-time expenditures by businesses to automate in such a way, as to reduce the need for as many workers. For example, fast food establishments could automate much of the drive-through operation, and even use automated stations to take orders, etc. Another ramification is that workers presently at, or around the $15 level, would probably react by wanting a proportionate increase (because they are not performing minimum wage-type jobs. There is another possibility, which is increasing prices, which would be inflationary, and thus much of the increase in wages would be offset by higher pricing, and thus little would be achieved.
2. Affordable Health Care: Perhaps one of the most dividing issues, it appears that neither side of the political spectrum, is looking realistically at the bigger picture. While the present Affordable Health Care Act has numerous flaws, it has increased health coverage but has failed miserably in addressing quality or costs. It would seem that anything calling itself affordable, should stress controlling drug costs, hospital expenditures, and the best way to improve medical care delivery, without curbing these expenditures, in a way to improve how we receive treatment. Haven't your health insurance premiums increased, and your coverage been lowered?
3. Our definitions of conservatives, versus liberals: If we were to look up the difference, it would tell us that being conservative is a more minimalistic approach, seeking balanced budgets, and controlling costs, while liberals believe in more government involvement, etc. However, when we view politicians who either label themselves or are labeled by others, we often observe that the line between these concepts becomes somewhat obliterated.
4. The hype, versus the reality: Beware of empty promises, excessive blaming or complaining, or statements made (without plans to achieve them). Until constituents demand reality, politicians will pile on the hype!
5. Anything to do with either fees or taxes: When was the last time any of us got anything that didn't seem like double-talk, regarding either of these? Even when there is a supposed tax cap, as there is in New York, regarding property taxes, etc., it only refers to the overall increase in a particular budget, but not one's actual taxes. For example, I know people who paid well over 5% more in real estate taxes, although the cap was less than half that amount.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned, is to think before we merely listen to empty promises, platitudes and rhetoric. What needs to be done may differ from the overtly popular approach!