The 9.0 earthquake that devastated northern Japan continues to have severe aftershocks. They are shocks in what clever physicist would ascribe to a type of space-time. It’s not about Star Trek stuff, or the time travel that fantasies love to use, but rather how one type of event starts a whole series of other events along a different type of path, affecting a different space at a different time, but connected. These types of other events are very real “butterfly effects” where a small change in one place can cause a whole bunch of changes downstream. Believe it or not, that earthquake has changed our lives, our businesses, and our collective futures. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker is expecting a 35% drop in profits, primarily from supply chain disruptions. Maybe that’s a no brainer, but it’s also driving severe supply chain effects globally and very real adverse economic and employment pain here in the US. From automakers and their suppliers, to many of the stuff we buy including our beloved electro-gadgetry … it’s still hurting.
How many of our business plans had “the earthquake” included as a scenario? Not very likely … Our nuclear industry was in the early days of a beautiful renaissance, one with a promise that would be a large driver of untethering us from our OPEC masters … but it too has been severely damaged by an aftershock … but one with no Richter scale. Disruptive events aren’t what they used to be. Historically, disruptive events were contained to the extent of our technological and logistical isolation …. We weren’t all networked. Globalization has changed that … we’re one big interdependent and interconnected family. The apparent and marketed successes of globalized supply chains and very sensitive “just in time” systems had a big Black Swan lurking … behind our chosen lines of sight.
Today, complexity has become a global behemoth, creating new rules of business and generating many more choices and opportunities for innovation and value creation. I certainly love my Android phone more than the beeper I had 30 years ago. For businesses, that complexity requires a severe filtering of what is included in planning and consequently what we chose to be blind to. Planning in business love the optimists and sometimes ostracize the pessimists … the ones who ask the unnerving questions.
Given Japan’s location, how likely are earthquakes? I heard an unfortunate comment from a nuclear industry spokesperson … unfortunate because it is an industry I love and believe in … that “the damage at the Fukishima plant was not from earthquake damage … but rather from the tsunami, it performed as designed.” Aren’t earthquakes and tsunamis connected?
Today’s world is much less dominated by trends and easy predictions … how many surprises have we had to respond to in our enterprises? My bet is that we’ve had more of them more frequently … in some multiple of our increasing interconnected interdependency. Take a look back and count them … what would we have done if we had known or prepared ahead of time? As we look ahead and build our planning and business models for the coming year … are we asking the right questions? How many levels of “what if” along our interconnectivity are we exploring? Have the aftershocks created more timidity in decision making? How much time do we invest in complexity driven failure modes versus “win” and “capture” plans. Do our business continuity plans address the really scary stuff?
There is opportunity in every storm, after all, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid first century AD.
Last fall I experienced a nuclear stress test. It had nothing to do with power plants or the stress that the operators in Japan are undergoing. Mine was conducted by my cardiologist and the isotope was a means to gain transparency into my system under different conditions, conditions that evaluated my behavior in a dynamic environment. Happily, it rendered good news that rewarded the hundreds of miles and several of my treasured New Balance athletic shoes.
Over that last couple of years, we’ve highlighted the evidence and perspectives that our business world is increasingly more dynamic, interdependent, highly networked, dangerously complex, and managed by tools and traditions built on much more stable process experience. Business models and algorithms, control systems, enterprise tools and performance improvement technologies derived significant power from the likelihood that behavior repeat sufficiently to enable the power of statistics to improve decision making. I many cases, that stability and value remains and I expect that that will go on beyond any horizon I can conjure. In fact, Dr. Deming encouraged us to look at the world through the lens of Plan, Do, Check, and Act, and his truism remains eternal.
• When and how do we subject our enterprises to that PDCA?
• What is the nature of our Check activities?
• Do we get beyond “according to plan or budget”?
• What type of stress tests are we employing? How would our business continuity plans hold up?
• Are we evaluating what we operate against the assumptions we made when we developed our plans, processes, and systems?
• Are the experiences of the last three years is sufficient to justify a fresh look at our Check phase?
• What causes and effects do we think about today that were insignificant a few years back?
• Have we learned anything new about assumptions, risks, and opportunities? Do our enterprise systems, business processes, strategies and objectives reflect that learning?
• Who is asking the discomforting questions within our enterprises? What questions do our trusted advisors ask of us? What answers do they provide to our questions?
• Are yesterday’s data building today’s processes to deal with tomorrow’s problems? What change do we anticipate?
• How well do we currently change our capability in the face of adversity or new requirements? How far upstream do we analyze?
• Where do we sit on the fragility to agility scale?
• Do our metrics come from an odometer or a telescope?
“Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account.” Bellerophon by Euripides 480-406 BC
2010 was a year where much of our attention and anxiety were held captive by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a sobering reminder of our dependence on fuels that support our lifestyle, commerce, defense, and essentials to life today. Moratoriums on deep water drilling ensued followed by hearings and probes into why it happened and who we need to blame and subsequently seek a means of exacting some comforting justice. It’s been months since the topic has had front page coverage, almost forgotten much like the devastation and impacts of Katrina, the earthquakes in Haiti, China, and Chile.
Currently, the horrors precipitated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan coupled with the political sea changes in the Middle East fill our front pages. In each of these cases, the parallel story on their impacts on our energy supply shares the spotlight. Events and actions that precipitate unpredictable instability are universally disturbing. We are not a species well wired for the unpredictable, much less so for the unthinkable. Our education is much about real or conjured patterns that explain the world and how it came to be as it is currently. The damage in Japan to the nuclear facilities is frightening and the consequences still very uncertain. They are not the result of irresponsible entities, commercial or governmental, but rather of our shared capacity to evaluate the unthinkable. Consequently, hordes of post mortem experts and pundits are ready to quickly make on the fly strategies about our energy future. The nuclear industry is at risk, sadly with a broad brush, and the media is all too happy to stoke the fires of panic.
I believe the fundamental issue remains unchanged. It is not about energy, or earthquakes, tsunamis, or accidents, or financial meltdowns. It is about our inadequate capacity to evaluate the unthinkable. Poor decisions are likely to follow, those borne in the heat of fear and politics. Some will want all the answers to questions that respond to the thinkable and consume valuable time and minds needed for the exploring of the unthinkable.
It’s time to reread “The Black Swan” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (http://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Impact-Highly-Improbable/dp/1400063515).
While these frightening events are globe rattling and cascade to us all, similar issues may well be alive within our organizations, enterprises, and businesses.
• What is the process through which we evaluate important decisions?
• Do our plans follow well established patterns of business rules that we believe to be stable and reliable?
• Who addresses the unthinkable?
• How many high impact surprises have we observed in the last three years?
It’s something to think about. Thoughts?
American Airlines war with the web is a fascinating series of events. Nobody can argue that the web is the neural and circulatory network for the preponderance of businesses. Unavailability and inaccessibility are likely to be two deathly symptoms of a commercial entity headed for life challenging times. Now, when I hear about accessibility issues, I tend to associate them with technical or network failures. Something broke, or glitches or evildoers are driving the calamity. Not so in this case. This war has to do with how accessibility is managed. American has made a decision that they will set the rules of how customers can access them.
These days we can book travel through agents or travel departments, call the airlines directly, go online to their websites, or go with a web broker that enables comparisons across multiple providers. The last group, the brokers, enables a platform that increases customer choice by creating a dynamic virtual marketplace where carriers can go head to head for available seats. Here is where technical and commercial complexity is made invisible to the customer, but requires important choices and decisions between the carriers and the brokers. American has their proprietary ticket sales platform, “Direct Connect,” and has decided that brokers must use that engine if they want to sell American seats. It is pretty much a “my way or the highway policy.” Two giants of the online travel world have opted for the highway. Travelocity and Expedia no longer display American flights as an option to their shoppers, they have made the carrier non-existing. American is working with Priceline to team up.
I’m reminded that many years ago Pizza Hut had a “no delivery” policy. If you want our pizza, you come to our restaurant and pick it up. A family owned pizza shop in the Detroit area saw great opportunity in that “my way or the highway” approach to the marketplace and created what became the delivery giant, Dominos. If you call Pizza Hut today, they will gladly deliver.
Convenience is cool to customers. Choice is cool to customers. Time is cool to customers. Many will agree that Pizza Hut had the better pizza …. So what? Airline seats are not pizzas, nor is American alone in accessibility. Southwest ticketing is only available on their website and through agents, but not web brokers. Constraints to accessibility always have effects. Whether Blackberry in Europe or the Middle East, or Apple versus the world …. They have effects, often costly ones.
• How convenient are we to customers?
• Is having the better or only mousetrap enough?
• In a world where choice and options are increasing exponentially, will customers find what they want and need “on the highway”?
“Freedom is not being a slave to any circumstance, to any constraint, to any chance; it means compelling Fortune to enter the lists on equal terms.” Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)
“Could have, would have, and should have”, or, “if I knew then what I know now”, or, “hindsight is 100%.” This last weekend, through a very agile collaboration between governments, agencies, public and private sectors, an attempted act of cowardly terrorism was averted; a bomb did not take innocent lives. It hinged on a decision from a former terrorist to come forward and alert Saudi authorities of the despicable deed and the cascade of information and resource deployment worthy of commendation. Of course, the media chimed in and warned that all passenger flights may be in danger of carrying explosives in the baggage holds.
The “news” is nothing new, not even news, but sufficient to trigger the domino tumble of escalating the declaration of more inspection, perhaps escalating to 100% inspection of packages and mail on flights. Does anyone feel better and safer? Test after test conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicate that the current 100% inspections of passengers and carry-on luggage let lots of nasty stuff get through. That’s the problem with inspection … 100% doesn’t yield zero defects … even 100% after 100 % does not get us to zero, and multiple studies confirm that. In fact, the responses that succeeded this last weekend were triggered way upstream of airplane loading and depended on state-of-the art tracking by a commercial entity, UPS.
This example is one where the consequences of failure are severe. Many organizations have a balance of two dimensions when making control decisions, fear and confidence. The levels of fear of the consequences of failure drive escalating and sequential levels of inspections and checks as a comforting barrier. This strategy does not always address the causes of the failure, but rather the containment of failures at given points in the process, often relying on the last line of defense. This is a “detect and correct strategy”. It is costly in resources, frequently wasteful, and seldom fail safe. It attempts to catch a defect, the bomb, in the system before it does damage. It requires some knowledge of where to look, and where the damage is likely to occur, or a blanketing “check it all” approach. In complex systems, this approach is very likely to fail. Many of our organizations operate within complex systems.
The alternative is to invest upstream in the process, much like the example this weekend. This alternative strategy is to develop the capability to “predict and prevent”. This strategy plays more to building confidence in the process by building knowledge of the drivers and causes of the defect and look for the culprits there. Yes, it requires spending more on the front end, but decades of data confirm that it is far more effective. Inspection is often destructive and prevention can be constructive as knowledge creates focus on what matters and away from what does not.
There is often great pressure to appear to be doing something about defects. Downstream inspections are visible and they do catch some defects. However, when they fail, our customers experience the consequences. Our instincts may tell us to do more checks check more things. As we move further downstream in our inspections the compounding pressures to deliver on time will overcome our capacity and degrees of freedom to detect and correct. Careers can die at deadlines. Ask any proposal writing team.
Healthy performance is not too different than healthy living; it is typically more effective when managed before you need to go to the hospital.
It’s October, and for many, this the month wherein our business plans go from aspirations to commitments and planned investments, or, what we will do and how much we will spend. It is at this juncture that many “stretch goals” are stretched out across time and spending with some promise of results and outcomes. In other words, we get money, people and kit in order to execute processes and projects for our enterprises. What are the probabilities that next year will be as we’ve planned? Well, how confident are we in our predictions and assumptions for next year? Does our plan plot out as a line over time?
One attribute of plans and budgets that I’ve frequently observed is the application of linearity, treating each month as a point on a line graph, not fuzzy at all. We feel fuzzy, but our system doesn’t want fuzzy as an input. How did we estimate or predict our planned inputs, processes, projects, and outputs? Reality is always fuzzy because randomness is such a big influence. When randomness is a part of multiple factors, it is a very safe bet to say that the plan and budget are not going to match a line.
There is one aspect of fuzziness in planning that can bite us. It has to do with the relationship between outcomes and consequences. Let’s assume that we have performance targets that we’ve committed to. These targets have measurable attributes that speak to time (cycle time and schedule), cost, and quality (defects and meeting requirements). Also, unless we’ve introduced some bias (made them bigger or smaller) due to timidity, overconfidence, bad math, or enforced optimism, our targets have some probability of being too high or too low. They have fuzzy, not certainty. Let’s assume for now that they have an equal probability of being higher or lower. What about the impact on the business if performance comes in higher or lower?
Often, the consequences of being late are far greater than the consequences of being early. Similarly, the consequences of spending less are not the same as the consequences of spending more. While the probabilities of an outcome might look like a familiar, like a normal bell curve, the consequences curve will not look anything like that. Multiplying likelihood by impact and then summing the values might well be a negative number. This is particularly true if we use historical data as a unit value to forecast future performance.
• Should we then introduce bias?
• What are the objectives of the plans and budgets?
• How do they affect what will happen?
• Are they static or dynamic instruments or tools?
• As time’s arrow moves ahead, does our view of the future shrink with what is left of the plan year or is the plan year always the next twelve months?
Yesterday, residents in the San Francisco neighborhood of San Bruno returned to what was left of their homes. Several had burned when a 24 inch transmission gas pipeline failed and a fire ensued. The section that failed was due to fail and, following the rules of physics, it complied. Those who own older homes, older cars, or are getting personally old know that time, elements, and decay will eventually win and create a disruption. The organizations who own and operate the pipeline take their responsibilities to customer, public, and customer safety with lots of gravity. The pipeline was due to be replaced and there was a plan filed with the regulatory agencies to do the repair work. They follow a business process that requires lots of opinions and decisions to weigh in before the line is fixed. It is called regulation and the real problem is compounded, not created by regulation.
In this case, the sometimes dysfunctional relationship between physics and economics has created another calamity. There are powerful forces at work to make it certain that many more calamities will happen. These calamities occur in all types of business systems: personal, private and public sectors, for profit or not. We operate these systems with a very specific fuel and consume that fuel to create value, deliver it, sustain it, and get some more fuel to run the process some more. When we are running out of that fuel in our tanks, we must convert the value we create into more fuel, find ways to consume less, borrow some more fuel, or stop consuming all together. That fuel is money, the lifeblood of economies worldwide. In order to operate our business we are required to compensate our sources of money at a specific rate. It is often the alpha process of all processes. The laws of economics will stipulate that no money means no process.
We have all seen the effects: work stoppages (private and public), staffing impacts, restructuring, budget adjustments, reworked plans, downsizing, ad infinitum. There is one specific behavior that is very dangerous; to systematically postpone, delay, underinvest, or forego maintenance of the physical and human systems that operate the business. It happens. An item scheduled for this year gets pushed into the next year’s budget in order to meet this year’s economic plans and aspirations, and we expect the laws of physics to change for us. Since many of our maintenance plans are statistically derived, the odds that a specific item will fail as a result of a “small” delay seem like a safe bet. It’s a bit like skipping an oil change or maybe taking a medication every other day. Does that become a habit? Do we eventually build a decision system that believes that the odds will always play out in our favor? Do we manage our plans and messaging to reflect an optimistic view? What happens when lots of the stuff is already old? Do we believe in luck?
When we deliver value, it is done so at a certain level of capability, meaning that some are better at converting money into value than others. Left alone, all these systems are subject to decay and disruption. That can be a pipeline or the skills of our people. When we engage in a process that decays faster than the business requirements to create value, a disruption is inevitable, physical or monetary. Yes, a delay in maintenance increases the chances that failure will occur and delays in building knowledge, skill , and tools for our people does the same.
When satisfying an economic goal in the present is competing with a possibility of a negative consequence in the future, who wins? As we face the current economic challenges, how do we decide what not to do? Do we manage the future from the present or the present from the future?
It’s absolutely fascinating how much leverage going green has gained. It’s hard to miss the marketing, packaging, and commitments that continue to grow and show. Many of us make green choices daily, some bigger, some smaller, and some to feel better, all with positive impacts. My observations are that, in consumer goods, the visible focus is on producing “from recycled” materials or from producing from benign components or processes. But what about all the really big stuff we build, produce, or operate?
The globe is dotted with far too many closed facilities, done with their productive lives, some nasty, awaiting a future that may never look green. Nobody likes them and they serve as reminders and warnings for decision makers. It is easy to presume sinister capitalists or overzealous weapons producers as the blame, but it is hard to escape that it’s a lot about economics and prosecution of the national will and multiple interests. Economics is a bit like physics in that processes will frequently follow the paths of least resistance. Similarly, extraction and harvesting economies have denuded the landscape, inviting regulation and in some sectors and countries, restoration efforts, but not yet without irreversible consequences. Getting to green may require multiple generations and someone to pony up on the costs. There is no Utopia, and the noble natives of the planet Pandora exist only in fantasies; and illusions that these harmonious societies ever existed are unsupported history. It’s challenging, because what got us here may eventually constrain us from getting there. What got us here was our capacity to solve problems and overcome obstacles, motivation notwithstanding. How we frame what are problems and opportunities drives important directional decisions.
After all, decisions are typically biased by the productive capability of what we make, build, or operate. What that means is that there is far more weight and attention given to the costs, effectiveness, and efficiencies of fabricating, constructing, and operating than to what happens at end-of-life. For lots of the big stuff, end-of-life is typically far into the future, messier to deal with, and makes the review and approval process more “difficult.” I’ve tested this hypothesis multiple times over many years, and the responses are consistent, end-of-life and decommissioning are not a big factor in the design discussions. Perhaps that is changing.
Over the last 50 years, some of the ugliness that we contend with as enterprises, governments, and consumers has to do with the direct costs and externalities ensuing from unplanned outcomes or effects at end-of-life. Granted, many plans and proposals have language addressing full life cycle costs, yet the evidence of subsequent actions have not aligned. A lens that I’ve found to be helpful is that what we get is precisely what our design, fabrication, and operation is supposed to give us. If it is not giving us that, then we have to investigate, the design fabrication and operation, where the errors or defects were generated that result in what we’re getting. It is as true for what we’re doing today as for what yet awaits us when we have stop or abandon the process. We’ve already designed, built, and operate with end-of life costs, to a good or poor degree.
The challenge ahead is not simple, simplistic, nor easy. Our economic systems create powerful forces and motivators. I really love the life that technology enables and don’t really want to give it up. I have many friends who build and operate some of the really big stuff and they are good, intelligent, highly principled, and ethical people. They care about the welfare of our world and their legacy as much as we do. The challenge is striking the balance between a more certain today and a sometimes very uncertain tomorrow. It gets really hard, when our positive economic rewards are about what we do in the present. They are immediate and positive, versus far into the future and negative. Which would you pick?
For visionaries, this creates an opportunity. The storms of growing public sentiment and distrust of some industries creates an awesome opportunity to design and differentiate with a smarter end-of-life offering. Smarter end-of-life creates value, reduces compliance burdens, fosters complementary lines of business, impacts investor perceptions, and can have a transformative effect on vision, values, and behaviors. For revisionists, a different family of motivators is often necessary. Carrots have longer lasting benefits than sticks.
Sometimes, the military does this well. The really good conquest and occupation strategies are done and executed against a well developed exit strategy. Forethought enables us to manage the present from the future.
“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” Sun Tzu
Not that long ago, a major mobile phone carrier had an effective advertising campaign with a catchy slogan. Yet, I found their slogan troubling. It was troubling in that their banner, “We have fewer lost calls” left with me an impression that “we’re not as bad as the other guys” was written with the intent to establish a positive differentiator of quality and reliability. My reaction then was that the goal was to be the best of the bad, or cream of the crap. Upon reflection, I realized that the problem was with me, and in fact, the carrier’s message was the right one. This carrier was actually speaking the language of quality, not of spin (as I confess was my reaction). Quality is measured by the likelihood of failure against a specification. In their case, our case, it was a message that what mattered to the customer was continuity of service and there is a probability that that service will be interrupted, and the best do it fewer times. The carrier must have studied Dr. Noriaki Kano and realized that in some cases, the best can mean fewer defects, and failures against a basic requirement can only bring dissatisfaction. For the basic requirement of service availability, a service unavailability measure is the right metric and satisfaction is not achievable, that is, zero defects can bring only zero dissatisfaction.
This last week, we witnessed what appeared as truly bizarre behavior from Apple. The new flagship, the iPhone 4, has a troublesome performance problem with the reception. The very beautiful phone integrated the antenna into a smooth metal casing, creating a problem when the phone was held in a particular, albeit very normal, way. Some would argue that the decision process for the product launch suffered from an unhealthy bias wherein form trumped substance and engineering warnings. It’s saddening, coming from an exciting and innovative producer of form and substance. What was befuddling was the chairman’s response to the defects. It began with hubris with what appeared a dismissive tone that trivialized the problem …. Customers don’t know how to hold our phone properly, what’s all the fuss about; it’s the bad media at play. As the evidence mounted of the reception calamity and the web took over, sharing the data, the next stage of responsiveness focused on an attack on the competition, asserting that other smart phones shared the same problem. From here it sounds like it’s about “my” product and brand, not the customer pain. That strategy was a big boo-boo. Motorola, HTC, and RIM did not remain silent, each stating that their designs did obey the laws of physics and sound engineering, after all, customers wanted continuity of service.
Today’s connected world is a dangerous place to forget that respect for the customer and respect for the competition are essential for sustainability of brand value and economic goodwill, just ask Toyota. I’ve always loved Apple’s creativity in form and substance. I also believed that Toyota put the customer first. Funny how often bigger does not beget better. It’s called entropy, another engineering insight often forgotten.
On reflection, I wonder how much of the problem had to do with poor engineering and how much with a culture of “enforced optimism” or some variant of the “emperor’s new clothes?” The evidence to date on the catastrophic BP oil rig explosion and the subsequent environmental opening of Pandora’s Box seem to support the dangers of “enforced optimism” leadership behaviors.
How often does the “enforced optimism” show up in planning (pick any type), budget sessions, objectives, progress reviews and reports, investor sessions, group decision making, scheduling and commitment setting, …., other stuff?
I heard someone on the news use the term “oil tsunami” to describe the river of oil currently sweeping across the gulf and the devastation it is delivering to those in the water and on shores. It is an interesting analogy in imagery, but it misses the big point, this growing glob of pestilence was triggered by man, by many people making a whole bunch of choices and decisions. The complexities of how it began and the complexities on how it may one day end are still unraveling. The forces of nature that have been unleashed still defy our technology, techniques, and even our collective confidence. Sadly, it does illuminate a darker side, not new, about the economics of the process. Responsible economists articulate the importance of incorporating the impacts of externalities into decision making. What that means is that what we do can have an adverse impact that transfers the burden, costs, and consequences of dealing with the mess to someone else. In the broadest sense, the total costs of what we do are bigger than our accounted costs and subsequent prices we charge.
This is not only about oil, it is about lots of stuff, including many of the apparent bargains we grab at the supermarket and the fast food chain; or other apparent benefits from subsidized markets . In retrospect, the people that are responsible for perpetuating the calamities like the oil spill can appear as sinister, sometimes a true characterization, but they are seldom so in isolation. To a great extent, the engines we put into play, as consumers demanding lower prices, and as investors expecting greater returns, create value systems with biases, meaning skewed or unbalanced. The levels of bias or balance are important dimensions of good or poor decision making. My oversimplification is that historically we are rewarded by one system, economic, and are constrained and sometimes punished by another, societal and public. These systems are not equal and have never been balanced, primarily because of one set of these consequences is pretty immediate and the second set is improbable and if so, in the distant future.
We, as individuals and as enterprises, are very cognizant of these consequences. Our perception and expectations of these consequences are big, really big drivers of behaviors. Lots of research by very capable people has validated this relationship between consequences and behaviors. Let’s not expect balanced behaviors from unbalanced consequences.
We, when in pain, will exercise economic consequences, but often as a reaction to harm done. On the flip side, our efforts to regulate and control some of these “big” behaviors are sadly oversimplified, undernourished, and in systems that are unattractive to the clever, talented, and ambitious among us. When we overlay on this system the behaviors of those focused on reelection and keeping their local economies well fed, we already know what happens.
Interestingly, this week, squeals are emanating from across the big “pond” about the economic impact that pensioners (investors in BP) are feeling from the precipitous drop in the value of, and anticipated dividends from BP. Posturing and deflected blame, insinuated bias on the part of the US press, public, and politicians as a cause for the externalities. Consequences are driving these behaviors as well.
Messy and complex, isn’t it? Thoughts?
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