One of the most frustrating things for me is to sit and listen to “experts” talk about a problem. They take the simplest of things and make them unnecessarily complicated. And what’s even more frustrating is that oftentimes they do not offer practical solutions and specify definitively how the problem should be solved. It seems like the more experts we have, the more we are unable to solve problems. The expert cottage industry has been growing and growing and yet we’re no closer to any solutions to the major problems America and the world face. Have you ever thought of it? For example, each of the areas below has thousands of experts, and yet no one can offer solutions to anything even though these problems have been around for many, many years. Astonishing, isn’t it?
2) The education crisis in the USA
3) The persistent economic problems facing the USA (jobs & economic growth)
4) The USA debt problem
5) The USA healthcare crisis
6) The drug problem
7) Gangs & guns
8) Inner city poverty in the USA
9) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
10) Third World poverty
So why is it that experts are unable to solve problems? Here are a few reasons:
1) They complicate the problem instead of simplifying it, and therefore end up confusing themselves and everyone else.
2) They believe that a complicated solution is better than a simple solution, so they try to make the solution as complicated as possible to the point where it becomes impractical.
3) They put ideology and personal biases ahead of practical solutions, which often causes them to refuse to offer a solution because such a solution is contrary to their ideology or belief.
4) They don’t want to solve the problem because that would effectively kill the cottage industry for that area of expertise and their world as they know it will come to an end.
5) They don’t want to make value judgments about personal behavior or about what’s right and what’s wrong.
6) They simple don’t understand the problem.
Sometimes only a single reason from the above list applies to the particular situation, but often more than one apply. For example, let’s take education. I am very familiar with education because I am a former public school teacher, having taught Special Education in New York City for five years. The bottom line is that the vast majority of students who fail to make the grade either don’t put in the required effort, don’t study, don’t do their homework, don’t complete their class work, don’t cooperate with the teacher, can’t control their behavior, or don’t want to take instructions. And their parents either don’t want to supervise them and make sure they do the right thing, or can’t supervise them to make sure that they do the right thing. It’s that simple. We all know that we couldn’t have succeeded at school if we didn’t do the hard work that was necessary to pass the exams. But some students mess around all day and then go home and mess around even more, and the experts turn around and blame the teachers when the students fail. How stupid is that? It goes to show that the experts don’t understand the problem. It also goes to show that they are unable to simplify the problem. The next time there is a debate or discussion on TV about education, watch how they complicate the problem and end up confusing themselves and everyone else. They also don’t want to make value judgments about the kids and their parents; they don’t want to call out lazy and unruly kids and irresponsible parents, so they scapegoat teachers, blame funding, blame the curriculum, blame the “system”, etc., etc.
Another example is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This one kills me. Here we have the most powerful country in the world (the USA) unable to impose a solution on two of the tiniest nations on the planet (the Israelis and the Palestinians). And the failure to solve the problem stems from not understanding the problem, among other things. The problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians is mainly a dispute over land. That’s what caused the dispute and that’s what has to be dealt with in order to settle the dispute. We need to impose a settlement that is fair to both sides. And the fairest solution is to go back to the borders that existed when the state of Israel was created in 1949 and recognized by the United Nations. Many will say that I am being simplistic and that the dispute is not just over land. But this is why the conflict will never be solved. We cannot complicate things, we have to simplify and take one issue at a time, the main issue. Once we settle that it will be easier to move forward on other issues. But for now that is the main issue. We need to establish the borders and put security arrangements in place so that the two sides do not attack each other.
I propose a DMZ – Demilitarized Zone – (or multiple DMZ’s) around Israel similar to the DMZ between North and South Korea. That DMZ has worked relatively well for nearly 60 years now and has kept two nations who hate each other apart. The DMZ will be patrolled by forces from various countries, agreed upon by the two sides, or by a United Nations peace keeping force. This can all be easily worked out once both sides agree on the composition of the peace keeping force. So to summarize, here is my solution:
1) Go back to the original borders.
2) Establish a DMZ
3) Establish a peace keep force to patrol the DMZ.
There you go, plain and simple. Impose it on both sides and tell these two tiny nations that the world is tired of them fighting and they must comply. The solution is fair and just.
So it’s time we get rid of the experts and go back to commonsense. We can solve all of the problems in the world if we simplify instead of complicate, be honest about the situation instead of allow special interest and politics to influence us, and start admitting that certain things are wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated.