November 3, 2006 |

Is Politics the Root Cause?

I saw an AP story on the CNN web site about runway safety. The third line in the story was:

“Our runways are out of shape, and the Bush administration has failed to move to correct the problem,” Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, said Thursday. “If we don’t get serious about runway problems, the result could be disastrous.”

I thought … “Is the root cause of everything politics?”

I didn’t know that George Bush was supposed to be out building runways. I thought he was the President?

What do I know…

I understand that the FAA has a regulation that requires runway upgrades by 2015, but I thought there were local airport authorities that actually take care of each airport – either by local taxes or landing and gate fees collected from the airlines.

I also know that there is a federal tax on tickets – but I have no idea how that money is spent.

I know that for about the past 20 years the air traffic control system has really needed upgrades and that the federal government isn’t very efficient at making improvement happen. Wasn’t Al Gore working on improving government efficiency?

I also know that the federal budget is huge. Doesn’t congress vote on the budget? With all the pork that congress adds to the budget, I’m sure there is room for MORE SPENDING…

I know this is an election season and politicians think that everything bad is a result of their opponent, but shouldn’t the media – newspapers, TV, and radio – be smarter than to pass along political rhetoric as fact?

A small lesson that root cause analysts can learn from this story:

– Evaluate what people tell you.

– Obviously everything that people say isn’t facts.

– Make sure that statements match physical evidence.

– Ask yourself if the person telling you something has an agenda.

Then your root cause analysis can be more accurate & truthful –


than the stories that appear in the news.

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