Today I have an invitation for any of you who have:
- Tracked a package online with UPS or FedEx;
- Used a mobile phone with a camera;
- Gotten money from an ATM outside the U.S.; or
- Used Travelocity, Orbitz or Expedia to buy an airplane ticket or book a hotel room.
For any of you who have done any of these things, I am inviting you to join me for a briefing on how we can make our government bureaucracies work more like UPS and FedEx and less like, well, bureaucracies.
Please join me on Monday, July 23, from Noon to 6:00pm (EDT) for a briefing on "From the World That Fails to the World That Works: The Coming Transformation of Government." The briefing will be at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. It will also be webcast at www.americansolutions.com.
To join us at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, please e-mail Nancy Bocskor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t join us on Monday, the briefing will be available for viewing anytime at www.americansolutions.com.
The World That Works Is Not a Theory
For a good introduction to the ground we will cover next Monday, watch this video.
Almost a half a million Americans have already watched it — and for good reason. As I say in the video, the world that works is all around us. It’s not a theory: It’s the hard work, innovation, creativity and accountability of entrepreneurs who are meeting the demands of the public and giving us more choices of higher quality at lower cost with greater convenience — think iPods, iPhones or the transformation of New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Chief William Bratton.
Unfortunately, the world that fails surrounds us as well. It’s the red tape, excuses and lack of accountability of lawyers and bureaucrats who are giving us fewer choices of declining quality with rising costs and no change — think Hurricane Katrina and our government’s anemic response to it, big city public schools or the failure to protect our border.
Bringing the Principles That Built America to Our Greatest National Challenges
Transforming government from the world that fails to the world that works is an essential step toward limited, effective government.
But it’s about more than making government cost less and perform better. It’s about bringing the principles that have built America and made it great — hard work, entrepreneurialism, innovation and optimism — to our greatest national challenges.
On Monday, July 23, we will explore how moving government from the world that fails to the world that works can create:
- A "Green Conservative" Energy Policy: We need market-based energy solutions that protect our national security, keep our economy strong and meet our environmental values.
- Schools That Prepare Children for Economic Success, Not Prison: Freeing our schools from the bureaucratic world that fails to the entrepreneurial world that works should be a national priority.
- A Healthcare System Focused on Patients, Not Red-Tape: A health system that believes it is possible to eliminate cancer as a cause of death and discover a prevention for Alzheimer’s can be developed by substituting the red-tape and bureaucracy of the world that fails with the productivity and quality of the world that works. Such a system will dramatically help to find cures to these and other debilitating and deadly conditions.
- An Immigration System That Enforces the Law Now: The world that works has the know-how and the capability to secure our borders. We need to liberate our immigration system from the politics and the excuses of the world that fails. We can start by enforcing existing immigration laws.
- A National Security System That Doesn’t Fail Our Fighting Men and Women: To win the larger War on Terror and be successful in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond, we have to transform both our civilian and military national security systems into 21st Century systems of quality and productivity.
The Real World that Works: Meet Contractor C.C. Myers
Here’s a story that shows how some Americans are already moving their government from the world that fails to the world that works.
When a tanker truck crashed and destroyed a busy part of a freeway in Oakland, Calif., commuters — used to their government in the world that fails — thought the repairs would take months. After all, a new bridge across the San Francisco Bay took 13 years to plan and an estimated 11 years to build.
But the California Department of Transportation decided to take a cue from the world that works and offer something besides the usual bureaucratic red-tape. They offered, instead, a financial incentive to the contractor who could get the job done fastest.
The state estimated the job would take 50 days to complete. But for the company that could fix it faster, they offered $200,000 for every day under the 50-day limit — all the way up to a potential cash bonus of $5 million.
And what do you know? A company owned by a gentlemen named C.C. Myers won the contract and finished the job in just 17 days. It was a win-win-win solution. Bay area drivers won shorter commutes, and the state won a job well done — all because C.C. Myers won $5 million.
Do We Really Have to Accept Incompetence From Government?
The governing elite in this country routinely expect us to accept a level of incompetence from our government that we’d never tolerate from the private sector. To do otherwise, they say, would be unreasonable. We have to "bow to reality," as Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff recently said.
"Bow to reality" — that seems to be the slogan of our government these days.
I have a better idea. Instead of listening to the secretary of Homeland Security tell us what’s impossible, let’s listen to one of our national heroes tell us what’s possible.
‘We Don’t Have Problems, Just Solutions’
Rear Admiral Eugene Fluckey died recently at age 93. He was one of America’s most accomplished and courageous submarine commanders during World War II. He was responsible for destroying more tonnage of Japanese shipping then any other sub commander.
Rear Admiral Fluckey adopted a saying when he took command of the submarine U.S.S. Barb: "We don’t have problems, just solutions."
I can’t think of a phrase that better captures America. To see the world, not in terms of the problems that plague it, but in terms of the solutions that are possible, is to be American. It’s to be hardworking, entrepreneurial, innovative and optimistic.
Join me Monday, July 23, to explore how we can bring the values of the world that works — the values that governed Eugene Fluckey’s remarkable life and the extraordinary performance of the crew of the U.S.S. Barb — to our greatest national challenges.
Join me in changing America.
P.S. – As I mentioned last week, I strongly recommend for your summer reading Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England by Lynne Olson. It’s a very sobering story of how deeply committed the Chamberlain government was to appeasing Hitler and the dictators in the first months of World War II. Even after war was declared, the Chamberlain government pressured the news media to avoid angering Germany. They dropped leaflets instead of bombs for the first seven months of the war. This horrifying story will help you better understand our current "phoney war" against terrorism.