Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The far-reaching consequences of a policy

Policymakers need to be big-picture and long-term thinkers (photo credit: S. Christopher)

What few understand is that policy has far-reaching consequences that near-sighted politicians and lobbyists rarely look to understand properly. In the absence of solid leadership, these shortsighted politicans are able to sell their story to the public making the situation very dangerous. A perfect example is the US' ridiculous Iraq war or even their shortsighted attack on Afghanistan. In neither case did the policymakers really think about the lack of training they had, how long they could commit or anything else. Now the US finds itself in the middle of a major quandary that is also killing millions of innocent people on both sides. The shortsightedness of the policymakers is costing the world in the long run.

Everyday, millions of these policies are thoughtlessly being implemented. I saw two pieces in yesterday's newspapers that brought this back to mind; one in the US (that will have global impact), and the other in Egypt.

The first was featured on 60 Minutes, and showed how the clauses in the economic stimulus money, especially the "Buy American" model, is affecting Americans. For example, any organization getting the stimulus money must use American steel for any work they do. Seems simple right?? Not exactly. Watch or read this piece to understand why every policy has two sides.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Then this morning I saw this piece in the NY Times about the new "ban pigs" clause that Egypt has come up with, post swine-flu. You wouldn't believe what the effects of that are.

The bottomline is this: Every story has atleast two sides. If it doesn't, then you are being lied to. Be cognizant of both, then make the best decision you can. But also think about how to mitigate the effects of the other side(s).

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