Crisis Mismanagement

When is something a crisis to you?

A crisis could be when your mortgage or rent payment is due and you don't have the money. That's a crisis.

Or a crisis could be when you're in school and you've put off doing a big term paper and it's due the next day. That's a crisis too.

I think we equate "crisis" to the time it takes to deal with it: the less time, the bigger the crisis.

Human beings, being what we are, generally don't respond well until we've got a crisis: Finally addressing the collapsed roof when years of leaky ceilings had been warning of this dire day. Or staying up all night to finish that big paper when it could have been easily crafted over the weeks it was first assigned.

My point is, we shouldn't have to wait for something to blow up in our face to face something bad.

Social Security (search) is bad.

I know this gets me in trouble when I say this, but I'll keep saying this: The system is in crisis, just not the way we deem a crisis. It's not a tomorrow thing or even a next couple of years thing. But it's a crisis because it's a ticking time bomb thing. And I'd rather fix it now before we're all in a fix later.

Opponents of reform insist no crisis, no problem. There's lots of time to fix it later, so don't fix it now.

I think term papers done at the last minute make for lousy term papers.

I think fixing broken roofs after they collapse make for pricier repairs.

And I think holding off fixing Social Security makes for pricier fixes later on.

Look, we know it's running out of money. We know young people are getting shafted. We know that fewer people paying in for more people paying out, doesn't add up to a sound system.

But we merrily march on. Convinced, as Scarlett O'Hara was, that it'd be better to think about all this wretched stuff... tomorrow. The only difference with Scarlett is she didn't literally mean "tomorrow." She was way too smart for that.

Are we?

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