|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by J.C. Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Friday, September 3rd, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|When Mr. Bush takes on a job, he sees it through to the end. Like the MBA he is, Mr. Bush has been trained as a manager. Any good manager formulates clear and concrete objectives, ensures ample means to achieve them, and then makes certain they have been achieved. Mr. Bush’s business school training has given him the tools he uses to perform his job, so it seems only right to apply a standard business tool to assess his performance: the employee evaluation.
It’s a simple and practical tool, as befits its business school provenance. The employee states the goals he expects to achieve, and at the end of a set time the employee assesses how well he has achieved them. The employer thus has a clear report card on which to base the employee’s salary raise, promotion – or termination.
Shortly after losing the Presidential election by over 500,000 votes, President-elect Bush addressed the nation from the chamber of the Texas House of Representatives. He set the following objectives for his term in office:
“We will work to make all our public schools excellent… so that no child is left behind.”* And so the administration gave us the No Child Left Behind Act, a measure designed to improve schools by grading their performance, rewarding good schools and closing bad ones. Having signed the act, Mr. Bush then denied it the means to achieve its goals. Funding was $7 billion short in 2003 and $9 billion short in 2004. The act also provides for converting failing public schools into charter schools, essentially privatizing them. That provision will enormously increase the number of charter schools. A recent Department of Education report says that charter schools do a significantly worse job of educating children than public schools. Assessment: objective far from achieved.
“We will save Social Security and renew its promise of a secure retirement for generations to come.” This objective is a phony, because Social Security doesn't need saving. The system will continue to provide for retirees for seventy-five years with only minor adjustments, according to economist Paul Krugman. The real objective is to privatize social security, thus providing a windfall for Republican backers on Wall Street. Assessment: objective is a deception.
“We will strengthen Medicare and offer prescription drug coverage to all of our seniors.” The President recently signed a new prescription drug benefit for senior citizens with Medicare. The law was crafted with significant “help” from the pharmaceutical industry. Big pharma loves it. According to the N.Y. Times of 8/11/04 (nytimes.com), most seniors hate it. Assessment: objective not achieved (and also another sneaky deception.)
“We will give Americans the broad, fair and fiscally responsible tax relief they deserve.” The administrations tax cuts have overwhelmingly benefited the rich and are responsible for our current record-breaking federal spending deficit. Hence they are neither broad nor fair nor responsible. Assessment: don’t make me laugh.
“We'll have a bipartisan foreign policy true to our values and true to our friends.” The administration’s foreign policy has alienated our allies, invigorated our enemies, and encouraged competitors like China to extend their influence in the vacuum we leave behind. The center-piece of administration foreign policy is the Iraq war, an expensive and destructive exercise fought for no purpose. How bad is the administration’s foreign policy? Its own Secretary of State didn’t attend the Republican Convention. Assessment: please.
We will “move beyond the bitterness and partisanship of the recent past.” Assessment: beyond laughter. Also tears.
So… promotion, pay raise, or termination? If you had an employee who failed to achieve every single one of his stated objectives, usually in spectacularly incompetent or deceitful fashion, what would you do?
©J.C. Nossiter 2004
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