Monday, 23 October 2017

Guardian letter on short-termism

Your editorial`s conclusion, that successive governments have failed to "think clearly" about the crisis in health and social care, making it "a bleak indictment of short-termist democracy", sadly can be applied to all aspects of government policy (Years of political cowardice now risk the sustainability of the NHS, 17/10/17). Short-termism leads to all sorts of apparently unforeseen problems; did no-one see that cutting council grants would bring about quality reductions in public services? Was no-one in authority able to predict recruitment crises in nursing and teaching, through over-work and a pay freeze? Tax reductions for the rich would not lead to increased inequality and decreased revenue for the Treasury? Selling weapons to the Saudis would bring in revenue, but the longer-term effects of the weapons on human targets, let alone on the government`s ethical standing, mattered not a jot. Promising £350m a week for the NHS might lead to a Brexit vote, but with drastic consequences later.
Similarly, short-termism in business has led to companies focussing more on immediate profits, rather than the benefit of improved productivity from longer-term investment in technology and training. 
   With the effects of such policies now coming home to roost, is it any wonder principled politicians, with plans to transform the way our society is managed, are on target to win the next election? 

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