Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Arrogance and Control—Systemic Blindness

Word is going around that Russell K. Pierce, R-18, is advocating we implement a modern Operation Wetback and deport somewhere between 12 and 20 million people currently living in the United States illegally. Pierce demonstrated further political acumen by referring to this 1954 effort by its 1954 name.

Does anyone actually believe the 700 mile wall is a good idea?

Then we have our beacon of effective public policy—The War on Drugs.

The rush into Iraq and those responsible are guilty of the same line of thinking, which is having the arrogance to think we can control more than we can.

Smart corporations, under relentless pressure to maximize profits, started figuring out many years ago that command and control is woefully ineffective in all but a few contexts. Early books like The Fifth Discipline pointed to ideas on systems thinking and better ways to obtain results with organizations and large systems. Corporate audiences have made such authors fabulously wealthy.

At risk of stating painfully obvious, one influences a system by finding the levers that actually influence the system. Consider that forceful relocations, walls, the war on drugs, and yes, this Iraq fiasco, are textbook examples of trying to force an outcome without addressing the systems involved.

Rounding up 12 to 20 million people, building a 700 mile wall, denying medical attention to sick or wounded because they lack credentials, imprisoning kids who have a few ounces of whatever, are futile and arrogant efforts to control dynamics that have in fact already slipped from control.

2 Comments:

Blogger The Committee said...

A cynical if not fatalistic viewpoint. Can you control everything? Of course not. If you can't control everything, you still try to control what you reasonably can.

Obviously, if you remove many of the primary motives for coming, and add barriers to illegal entry, illegals will have less reason to come.

The border fence is not impossible to build according to many people who know how to build fences. I've seen some pretty amazing fences in some of our national parks that make our border fence look like a chalk line. A fence does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Any amount of barrier can slow the flow and improve security.

Along with physical barriers, if employers are sanctioned for hiring illegals, welfare benefits are denied to illegals, and identity theft is punished, and it becomes much easier to enter legally through our green card system, it stands to reason that we will be better able to stop the 13% of border crossers who are criminals and allow decent people to enter for work.

So it doesn't work 100% of the time. No problem. Anything above 10% is an improvement, isn't it?

10/04/2006 12:42 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Hey Committee, thanks for responding. Actually, not cynical at all, and your remarks point to some of what I am trying to say.

To say more, we address illegal immigration by addressing what causes it.

Why are they coming? Because they can get jobs that pay better. Why can they get jobs that pay better? Because our system relies on giving them jobs that pay better. Why does our system rely on paying millions of people substandard wages? My point is that this is the inquiry that can lead to solutions, not heavy handed INS agents scouring the fields and packing people into buses.

Regarding war on drugs. Let's skip why there is demand, but there is. How about legalization and taxation to generate revenue for support programs for those who get out of hand? Naw, let's spend 10 times the money, create a massive underworld of cash drenched criminal elements, imprison boatloads of kids for nonsense, and shout, "Just say NO."

Please understand I am not against "organization" and mechanisms to establish law, order and sanity.

Of course the simplified picture of folks charging across our border, expecting us to speak their language and provide all sort of services at our expense is infuriating.

Apologies for long winded response. Here is the short answer. My assertion: A return to "Operation Wetback" as Pierce suggests is pulling the wrong levers.

10/04/2006 8:56 AM  

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