28 July 2005

A Response With Kevin

Over at Kevin Shockey's Portal al Exito you'll find an interesting take on the recent events in Puerto Rico and a reference to The Jenius' remarks about the same. In this instance, I'd like to focus on two aspects of Kevin's post:

"First, do you know why strikes are like terrorism? Each involves a threat of force or consequence if demands are not met. Which basically means it is a lose-lose scenario. ...(each) typically starts with a person or group of people with a complaint or some type of sufferage. Then to end each of them requires someone to give in, or the suffering continues. Finally in either case, once a party “gives-in” it completely eliminates any ability to not give in later. Once you meet the demands of strikers, then just like terrorists, every future striker knows that if the situation becomes unbearable, demands will be met. There can be only one position for a highly developed society to take in each of these scenarios, zero tolerance. It is extremely harsh and I hope I never find myself on either side of this lose-lose situation."

The comparison between strikers and terrorists is apt, although obviously in the sense of using the target's reactions as a measurement of the instigator's "success." What We gave the truckers' union--not just its leadership--was the sense of power over Us. In their eyes, We are a mindless beast within their control. The proper way to deal with this, as Kevin indicates, is to simply not allow it. President Reagan was far from a Jenius favorite, but his summary firing of air traffic controllers was the right move and sent shock waves thoughout the nation's unions. Yes, they were forbidden by law to strike, unlike the local truckers. But in the same way air traffic is a national concern in the U.S., so is the logistics of supplying the Island, largely served by truckers. We let them get away with blocking San Juan's streets without so much as a slap on the wrist. They have now had a taste of paralyzing the entire Island and achieved a positive response to their threat. Lord Acton's words are always a warning: "The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. Every class is unfit to govern...Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

The second aspect in Kevin's post is even more important and of the utmost urgency, a portion of which The Jenius highlighted:

"So here is the big question: 'What sacrifices do we need to make now...in order to rebuild the economy based on a globalized and entrepreneurial view of the world?'...

It is clear to me as I write this, that the time to establish what is the greater value or claim is right now. We have seen how well we as a nation are prepared to face potential sacrifice and it isn’t (wasn’t) pretty. I wonder, do people actually plan for the type of adjustment I’m predicting? Is there an office somewhere in our incompetent government with a plan? I’m sure of the answer and it makes me want to wet my pants right now. And if not the government, then who else might have a plan? Now that I think of it, we don’t even have a plan to improve the economy even during these days of wine and roses. That is probably even more scary."

The Jenius would love to reassure his friend Kevin and others that We indeed are prepared to make the hard decisions, to gird Our loins, face the pain of great effort and lead Puerto Rico to the global prominence its potential implies. It simply isn't so. We, as a group, are not ready and never will be ready. It is up to a minority, a dedicated, visionary, stubborn-to-the-point-of-inhumanity yet open-minded, insatiably curious and adventurous group of souls to create a plan, develop it and make it happen.

It is in Our Hands to make the Change, to give Ourselves the Future We deserve. Unlike Kevin's question, The Jenius doesn't believe in sacrifice: if a greater good comes from the action, then it is investment and We should be investing. If We invest nothing, or invest what amounts to crap, We will gain very little of value. It seems fairly obvious that We are firmly in the midst of the largest investment of crap in Our Future this Island has ever seen. We can change that. We have to. And though The Jenius speaks only for Himself, We will.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

No comments: