Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thenwhat analysis

All right.

Sorry I’ve not blogged in forever. In my defense, I offer 3 excuses.

  1. I have adorable children whose faces I can’t see whilst gazing into a computer screen
  2. There were holidays and I was drunk a great portion of the time.
  3. There’s only one person who ever reads this anyway. Which reminds me, honey could you stop at the store on your way home and pick up a loaf of bread?

(Actually that’s just a joke. My wife doesn’t read my blog. Nobody reads this. So you can see why it’s hard to motivate.)

Anyway I’ve been getting ready for the big inaugural bash (Jan 20th, 7pm, Jewel Box) and like many others combining New Years’ resolutions and Christmas wishes with dreams for the new administration, I’ve been trying to nail down my one biggest hope for the next four years. And here’s what I’ve come up with.

My hope for the Obama administration is that they learn from the previous administration and do what I like to call the “Thenwhat analysis.” on the issues they must address. It’s very simple to do, but for some reason has been utterly rejected by the current administration.

Here’s how you do thenwhat analysis. Before you do something, you ask yourself, “If we do this… Then what?” Sounds simple right? I bet you do a little of that every day. Yet time after time in American politics, we neglect to do the thenwhat analysis.

Imagine if we’d done it say in Iraq? “Let’s invade Iraq.”

“O.K… (short pause) then what?”

“Well, everyone will live happily ever after?”

(Note, if thenwhat analysis comes back “everyone will live happily ever after” you have not done proper thenwhat analysis.)

“Oh wait, on second thought, if we invade Iraq, a lot of people will be killed, millions will be displaced, people won’t be very happy with us and we will be three trillion dollars poorer.”

“Hmm, let’s maybe not do that then.”

Or had we done a little thenwhat analysis with Bush’s tax cuts.

“Hey, let’s cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans while waging two global wars!”

“OK… then what?”

“Um… Oh, wait, we’ll wind up with the largest budget deficits in American History!”

“Hey let’s not do that maybe then…”

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we had just done some rudimentary thenwhat analysis?

So that’s my hope for the Obama administration. For every policy, may they just do the requisite thenwhat analysis.

“Let’s give GM a ton of money.” Then what?

“Let’s go to war with Iran/ North Korea.” Then what?

Let us always use thenwhat analysis for all things from here on in.

And that’s my wish for the Obama administration. That and health care. Let’s get us some health care.


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