As a result of the “Great Recession,” its large scale and the general public’s confusion over its origins and implications, the Obama Administration has been attempting to alter the organizational function of the United States by way of a fairly significant ideological shift, before most citizens who comprise the American culture have realized it, understood it, and decided to agree with or reject it.
Usually, culture change is prerequisite of change made to organizational function – in other words, a change in mindset preempts the change in organizational function. Consider how a business operates. If a business is interested in changing how it functions, leadership initiates the effort by instilling a certain mindset or culture among its employees. With that mindset or culture in place, the organization can change, innovate, and improve how it functions.
But what has been going on in the United States in the last nine months has been quite different as a result of the incredibly unique circumstances surrounding the Great Recession of the last year.
Consider the extreme and unique nature of the Great Recession: Billion-dollar bailouts and a multi-trillion-dollar deficit. To curtail unemployment, the Administration has invested heavily in widespread government expansion — to the detriment of private industry. The Administration has also increased regulation and control of private industry and private entities, such as auto manufacturers, banking/financial institutions, the mortgage industry, exercised federal power over credit card companies, and so on, and so on.
The Circumstances Require State Action
Without even assessing these individual actions by the Obama Adminstration as either moral or immoral, right or wrong, it is clear that the extreme nature of the Great Recession would warrant significant government intervention, due to such unique circumstances. However, it’s almost indisputable, I believe, that President Obama’s want is for the United States to emulate the economic policies of European social-welfare states.
As such, I would contend that President Obama is utilizing the unique circumstances of the Great Recession and the very necessity of widespread government intervention and regulation to heavy-handedly lead a major shift in the organizational function of the United States from a democratic republic based in traditional liberal economic roots to an expansive social-welfare state — a Leviathan, of sorts. Legitimate concern from an ordinary American would be that the American culture has not changed so radically, even in lieu of the Great Recession, to dictate such drastic change to the United States’ organizational function.
The Next Great American Debate
The next great American debate will be one of capitalism versus socialism. Of course, the next great American debate is not a new one. It’s been a major ideological battle of the last century. Yet, we’ve already begun to see the debate beginning to erupt in town halls as some Americans explode in anger at the concept of state-run medicare and socialized medicine.
Because of the extreme nature of the Great Recession, extensive government intervention has been a justified mean to an important end — America’s supposed survival. And so, there has been little discontent. As such, the whole debate of capitalist versus socialist policies has been temporarily suspended, as if a game of wait-and-see.
But by the time the extent of the Administration’s attempts to change the organizational functional of the United States is clear, is there much that could be done to undo it?