Saturday, September 10, 2005

Reality Matters

I found myself at a loss when trying to make sense of what went wrong with Katrina's response. At some point it seems that the accurate answer is 'everything'.

It would appear as if the hurricane was designed to test the system and show in the most crudest way how wanting it really is.

But, blaming the 'system' is tantamount as holding nobody accountable. It was not the system that failed. People in key positions failed. The fact that they failed in the basic performance of their duties is a clear sign of their incompetence.

If I paid a mechanic to fix my car and coming out of the shop my car falls apart, I do not need to be an specialist to know that that mechanic is incompetent.

So what can we learn by looking fairly into this mess?
First and foremost the simple truth that reality matters;
a truth that more and more politicians feel they can dispense with.

They think that appearing to be competent is enough to cover incompetence as long as someone is willing to vote for you. But reality has its way of catching up with you sooner or later.

Reality matters. Incompetent people will do an incompetent job.

Experience and honesty are two necessary conditions for competency in any job. A bureaucracy will never reform itself. Only competent people are able to do that.

Competent people are people that generally do good at their job and when they fail they are willing to acknowledge that they were wrong. Competent people are willing to assess their errors and learn from them.

Competence is a feature that is clearly absent from the current administration, which never owns its many errors. It only attempts damage control, never true reform.

The aftermath of Katrina has at least one simple lesson. Electing incompetent officials have graver consequences than taking your car to a bad mechanic.

The bad mechanic may get me the first time. But, only a fool would go back there.

So, the simple lesson is this: Because reality matters, let us only support competent officials who proof that they can really deal with it.

1 comment:

mindinghope said...


I'm not quite sure how to do it (though I’ll figure it out),
but may I link your web page to mine??

Yours is very detail and researched oriented...

and would love to steer folks your way.

Thank you,