Book Review: Real Change by Newt Gingrich
Posted by Ryan on March 22, 2008
I am recommending the book “Real Change” by Newt Gingrich. Newt paints a picture of a Red, White and Blue America (clever) where on so many issues, the American people are astoundingly on the same page: that many media-driven divisions don’t really exist on a host of cultural and domestic issues like religion, immigration, the broader War on Terror, English, and many others.
Newt also indicates that in order to achieve real change we need revolutionary thinking: admitting that our current bureaucratic government structure and dynamic inhibits the very change the folks really crave because of red-tape, leading to cumbersome and slow reactions to crises, and people in power resisting change to save their jobs (ie- government worker unions, of which, for full disclosure, I am a part).
The Dems are too tied to this failed bureaucratic paradigm to see their true belief that the very government screwing up Social Security, Medicare, and our energy policy, will be the very agent which will save the day. That’s ridiculous! In Newt’s view, the Republicans are in the best position to foment real change, but opportunities have been lost and the American people seem to have lost faith in the Republican’s ability to be different from the Dems: look at all the big-government pork-barrel spending Republicans engaged in this decade! If the Republicans would just stay true to their principles and look at our problems in different ways, real fundamental and positive change could take place.
Newt’s agent for change would be to look at a world where structures work and apply it to government: the private sector. Competition, entrepreneurship, America’s brains and will-power being unleashed to do great things applied to our government would be revolutionary enough to actually fix our system. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate for big government here, but I would like the government which exists to actually work well (I’m paying for it)!
Here’s a YouTube clip:
I saw this on display this morning. I used my credit card to buy groceries. It took about three seconds for the system to verify me and access my account. I also got a package this morning that I ordered online a week ago. The company said 7-10 days delivery on this particular item. Nice and smooth.
I’ve also seen the bureaucratic nightmare up close a few years ago. I dare anyone reading this to apply for a teaching certificate in the State of New Jersey just for fun! They lost my application twice, the application they did allegedly look at came back to me with my last name spelled wrong and a with different birth year (everything else was fine though). They charged me $60 for all three. I fought them for two months on the phone and in person and only managed to pay once — on the fourth version with everything fixed. Horrible and scary.
What if private sector business models (where things work) were applied to cumbersome bureaucratic structures like the State of New Jersey, Social Security, the Pentagon or any government bureaucracy (where things don’t work)? Revolutionary change indeed!