IN AN ACCURATE DESCRIPTION of a PROBLEM LIES AN EMBEDDED SOLUTION
The world is in a state of crisis. Everyone agrees our economy - the world's economy - is sick. Collectively we have no alternative but to find an expert doctor to cure the problem. The function of the doctor is to first accurately diagnose the root cause of our symptomatic distress. This reliance on the need for an effective doctor is based on our experience that knowledge is power. In this case an accurate diagnosis allows us to focus on fixing the identified problem.
If the diagnosis is accurate and the doctor constructs a plan of action geared to fixing the identified causes it figures that over time a cure will most likely come about. Few reasonable people would argue with this logic. However when individuals or countries are sick and in crisis there is a tendency to react with messy feelings such as panic anxiety.
Anxiety predictably occurs when a person or collecitve of persons experiences a real or imagined threat to their very existence. When this happens the autonomic nervous system releases adrenalin into the self system for the purposes of preparing the person for fight or flight. Thus there is a state of urgency calling for immediate action to protect the self or in this case collective of selves from threat of catastophe.
Imagine waking up one morning with a sharp pain in your mouth. Your first reaction might be to take some asprin in the hope that it is one of those things and will go away. However this pain not only continues but gets progressively worse over the course of the day. You waiver between prayer and calling the dentist. As the pain persists and intensifies eventually you crack through your denial and reluctantly call the dentist to make an appointment.
On the way to the dentist's office you hope as hard as you can that the pain is not a sign of something seriously wrong with you. But the reality is that you have whatever you have and no amount of hope or praying or denial will override the fact of whatever is actually causing the pain.
The dentist asks you why you have come. You describe the unbearable pain. He asks you to describe your symptoms in detail. He might ask you for your theory as to what is causing it. You say the sharp pain means you probably have a deep cavity. The doctor says perhaps you are right but takes an x ray to be sure. Upon reading the xray he says you were right about the deep cavity but adds in a root canal issue.
You wince considering the extra cost. You are disappointed and perhaps shocked that in Obama's terms:there is "no easy out." But that is reality and you have no choice but to face the facts.
Complicating the issue is that at times the symptoms presented do not fit convention. Solutions to the identified problem do not fit the standard new wine in old bottles problem solving method. For something new, problem resolution demands that new wine be poured into new bottles. Thus there has to be a creative - thinking out of the box - solution. This is where we appear to be in facing up to our sick economy.
So back to our sick economy. We are collectively in a state of intense pain that has now reached crisis proportions. We are in need of an accurate diagnosis so that the focus of intervention will be focused on resolving the core problem.
In this case Mr. Geitner is the appointed head doctor. He has outlined his 4 point overview. We have little choice but to put out faith and trust in his perspective and that of his associated advisors.
What strikes me as crucially important for us to face up to is that the 'therapy' is going to be deep and long lasting. It is not subject to quick symptom reduction. We can't collectively pop a pill. We have to be patient and let the economic psychoanalysis work its way.
This crisis is a world wide wake up call that life is hard and often harsh. The sooner we face the fact that some problems such as the economic mess we are facing are more difficult to master than others. In short we have an opportunity to raise the general level of development from that of an impetuous teenager to that of a reflective mature adult.
It is a truism that when most patients enter long therm psychoanalysis they are understandably seeking a magical cure. The effective analyst says right away that there is no magical cure. The analyst urges the patient to give him enough time for the process to work. The patient, usually a reasonable person, will nod his head in initial agreement. Then when the analysis begins there will be an insistent attempt by the patient for the analyst to work magic. This will occur over the course of treatment until the patient eventually realizes that the the analyst was right all along. There is no quick fix. There is no magic.
Significant change is possible but it only comes about as the result of struggling with struggle taking as much time as it takes to master the problem at hand.