Quite frankly it is torturous to see President Obama and John Boehner digging in their heels in the debate over how to address the looming issue of the fiscal cliff. If you haven’t heard already, the fiscal cliff refers to the end of 2012, when Bush-era tax cuts will end and government spending cuts will take effect.
How is this an acceptable way to handle a serious issue threatening our economic recovery? Though some say the fiscal cliff has been blown out of proportion by the media, economists have warned that the onset of the fiscal cliff would bring unemployment back to nearly 10% and shoot the American economy into another recession.
If you have two camps constantly locking horns, you will never solve the problem. Someone has to give a little. Someone has to concede a few inches, otherwise, we will still be stuck in a faceoff in two months, too paralyzed by our own divisive politics to save our own skins.
Perhaps the problem is that politicians are cocooned away from the real world in Washington. They don’t realize that their actions have direct and immediate consequences. In the private sector, burying your head in the sand and ignoring reality while staying true to your convictions has disastrous results.
Take the case of Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of the Blackberry phone. The company’s executives were so confident in their product that they refused to acknowledge the real and present threat posed to their company by Apple. Back when their phone was known as the Crackberry, perhaps this position made sense, but as Apple gained more and more of the mobile marketplace, RIM refused to update their product or sensibility to keep up with their competition. They made bad choices, resisted change, and drove their company into the gutter.
If someone doesn’t face reality and work out a compromise soon, the American economy may begin to resemble RIM’s stock price.
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Jack Kelly is CEO of Compliance Search Group and publisher of the CompliancEX blog and newsletter. Beth Connolly is Editor-in-Chief of the Wall Street Job Report and the Compliance Exchange. She blogs creatively at When Nutmeg Met Basil. Connect with her on LinkedIn , Twitter, and About.Me.