Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Preperation and Prevention critical

Dear Editor,
Fareed Zakaria’s focus on “preparedness” is warranted but it’s grossly insufficient to address budget cost of dealing with catastrophic events that are predictable.
Zakaria’s wrong suggesting it wasn’t “possible to predict” events like 9-11 or the fall of the Soviet Union. Six months before 9-11 a bi partisan Presidential Commission on National Security in the 21st Century released its final report saying ‘Americans should prepare to die in large numbers on American soil’ from terrorism. At least 11 sources were found suggesting airliners could be used as missiles. Vice President Biden, as a Senator the day before 9-11 warned that terrorist would someday bring destruction to our shores in the ‘belly of an airplane’.
The gross inefficiencies that lead to the fall of the Soviet Union were as predictable as our own government’s ineffectiveness at dealing with national security threats related to our global interdependence using ‘independent’ national policies.
Peak oil, pandemics and genocides are a given. No guessing needed. Preventive global policies like funding universal access to clean water, safe sanitation, adequate nutrition, basic education and alternative energies are vital to preventing unprecedented crisis that will break our national economy trying to ‘prepare’ for.
It should be obvious to anyone following the budget crisis that reacting to devastation is economically unsustainable. Prevention is worth every penny. Zakaria nails the problem when he says we are “betting on continuity – which is the default mechanism for people and organizations.” This is a mental flaw our species can’t afford. Things change. We need do need to better adapt, but we need not waste vast sums of money preparing for things we can prevent. Wise investments on a global scale, like Congressman Keith Ellison’s House Resolution 157 calling for a new global Marshall plan should be made without delay.

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