When something complicated goes wrong, people tend to come up with all kinds of blame either as an excuse or explanation. In the confusion that follows, the real causes for what has happened are usually lost. As a result, the blame that stirs up most emotions becomes a cause for action. This is the most dangerous recipe for solving problems, for the wrong cause is identified and the wrong solution is employed.
The following is a list of complicated problems and the blames stirring up emotions in the US:
Decline in manufacturing industry: Blame the Chinese for dumping their products and stealing our jobs. Incidentally, the Chinese do not blame the Indians or the Vietnamese for stealing their jobs when their own businessmen invest overseas.
Slow growth in employment: Blame too high taxes on corporations and the rich thus preventing them from creating jobs for the poor. Blame the President, too, for failing to create more jobs, especially in this election season. What makes you believe that jobs are created by benefiting the rich first?
Immigration out of control: Blame the Mexicans and others for crossing the border, committing crimes, and taking jobs away from Americans. We should ask: What makes them cross the border in the first place?
Health care inflation out of control: Blame insufficient competition and too much government interference. By contrast, most developed countries are able to control costs with government maintaining tight control over health care. What have they achieved that we cannot? Don’t simply blame their practicing socialized medicine!
Failure to achieve oil independence: Blame government regulations for restricting drilling everywhere in the country. Oil is basically a consumer addiction for Americans. How hard it is to change this bad habit!
Failure to invest in infrastructure and education: Blame the government for not giving the private industry a free hand to solve the problems. If we do that, we will see toll collection on every road and in every airport. We will also see higher tuition for students. That will be the consequences of profit maximization.
Failure to balance the Federal budget: Blame the government for big spending and too high taxes. If you keep on cutting taxes, how can balancing the budget be achieved? If you want to cut taxes, cut those big items first that are wasting resources such as defense, tax benefits for oil companies, subsidies for ethanol production, and so on.
The 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent recession: Blame the government for the $700 billion bailout of the big banks. We must ask: What caused the meltdown in the first place? Was it the bailout or the fact that the banks went wild?
America losing respect in the world for its reckless military ventures: Blame the government for under-investing in defense to make America strong and free. Beware of the “patriotic” propaganda invented by the weapons industry and the arms dealers!
Failure to understand climate change: Blame all the “tree-huggers” for creating this fear. Blame the scientists for producing inaccurate data not worth believing. Also blame the government for imposing all the environmental regulations. This sounds like a repeat of 18th century oppression when science was being stifled and ridiculed.
The list could go on and on. You could probably see the illogic in those blames and where they originated. In fact, we can blame everything on the government, on taxes, and on other countries, and get away with it. But does it help? Does it solve any problem? This is an obvious sign of self-denial and internal decay because the country is not able to face the real challenges of tomorrow. By contrast, all those countries on the rise seldom play this blame game. They are always thinking about self-improvement and how to win in the competitive world of 21st century.
Let me offer an easy solution: Blame yourself. Never mind the true cause because that is not important. Let me show you why:
Suppose I get an F grade in class, who and what should I blame? I can blame the teachers, my parents, my friends, the school system, the grading system, etc. I can even blame the government for mismanaging the public school system. Granted that all those blames were true, what should I do? It would be difficult to solve such a complicated problem involving so many people and things. If I blame myself for not putting enough effort in the class, I can quickly turn a corner in a couple of months. Even though I may be wrong in identifying the real causes, I am doing myself a great favor by trying harder and ending up smarter. There won’t be another F next time. I effectively solve the problem by blaming myself and seeking self-improvement, for this is all that really matters. I know that there are plenty of unproductive workers in the educational system. I also know that their jobs are not to hand out F grades. I am determined not to give them the chance to label me an F student.
In conclusion, it is not hard to see the difference between winners and losers. Winners improve and win. Losers do nothing but blame.