Bob Franken

Disconnecting the Disconnected Dot Connectors

So there was President Obama with his stern face on, telling the world still again that the system failed, trying to assure one and all he is serious “…less interested in placing blame than I am in correcting these mistakes”.

But isn’t a little blame in order? The one thing the “Underwear Bomber” accomplished with his inept attempt to cause calamity is that his blundering was easily matched by those whose job it is to see these kinds of things coming. They are, after all in charge of the sprawling, gazillion dollars apparatus that is supposed to “connect the dots”.

By now, are we all tired of that expression “Connect the Dots”?. We get it, there was an inexcusable disconnect in the wild and wacky world of national security.

But let’s use the cliche to make an even more expansive point. Let’s connect the dots about the way our overseers throughout government fail in that regard, and not only that, manage to stick around or even get promoted…just like in private business.

Regrettably, the grossly ineffective at the top of the public sector can cause widespread disaster with their mismanagement. Not only are we witnessing that here but clearly it was the case with our financial collapse.

The very people who should have seen the obvious signs of massive greedy carelessness and bubble bursting ahead have not only escaped being called to account for their failures, they are now in charge of the agencies that are supposed to make things right.

Case in point: We now learn Timothy Geithner, is being investigated for possibly shielding AIG from the kind of disclosures that were designed to prevent people from losing their savings when it came crashing down. Geithner was head of the New York Fed then. He’s Treasury Secretary now. He’s just one example of those whose track record left a lot to be desired.

Shouldn’t they be long gone? Shouldn’t “responsibility” be more than just a word? Shouldn’t it mean that when the ones with vital responsibilities don’t live up to them , he and she are relieved of them and replaced.

Remember the Peter Principle: “In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.” Laurence Peter forgot part of it, that those at the hierarchy’s higher reaches are often way above their “level of incompetence” and no matter what, get to stay there.

The one thing they are good at is LOOKING like they’re doing something, not actually doing it. Time and time again we find that those in charge really are not.

The one in charge of those in charge, meaning President Obama, needs to accept his “responsibility” to weed out the ineffective in his administration’s top echelons and appoint those who can get the job done.

We simply cannot allow our lives and fortunes to become nothing more that a shower of disconnected dots, falling on catastrophe.

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