US Congress Forced to Cooperate
US Congress Forced to Cooperate
After decades of brutal conflict over healthcare policy, and a gridlocked government, the US Congress appears finally to have reached the end of its rope on repealing "Obamacare." Many Republicans are beginning to see their only option is to work across the aisle with Democrats to produce some type of hybrid system in which healthcare markets are guided by government controls. This is only one example in one nation, of course, but it may signal that an important point has been made about the limits of conflict.
Americans have long endured their bare-knuckled approach to politics. It is common to hear politicians and the public procliam their hatred of the opposing party, exaggerate wildly, pronounce outright lies, and attack opponents’ personal lives. This “political warfare” has been widely denounced but considered unavoidable, and even praise-worthy, because many believe the clash of opposing views produces stronger legislation. That myth may have been laid to rest when Senator John McCain cast the deciding vote because he thinks “this approach has produced no results.” McCain said “We are not getting anything done.”
The US Congress may not be able to cooperate on US health care in the end, but the prospect exemplifies a major trend. Collaborative problem solving has become more productive, and often essential, in a knowledge-based world. Unlike material resources, knowledge increases when shared, offering greater gains for all involved. In the popular business concept of coopetition, conflict destroys value, while cooperation creates value. Sweden, Finland, Norway, Demark, and Germany outperform the rest of the world with a combination of cooperative business−government relations operating in a market-based economy.
Our studies at TechCast suggest that demands for active involvement could escalate. TechCast covers a wild card forecast for a form of “Democratic Enterprise” that unites stakeholders into a collaborative corporate community. Our experts estimate a 40-percent probability such practices will enter mainstream use in the next decade or so, making a major positive social impact of 5 on a scale of 10.
We also are impressed that nations like France and Germany, are moving toward the center, with even China cooperating to fill the political vacuum left by the US withdrawal from world affairs. The rise of autocratic regimes in Eastern Europe, the US, and a few other nations seems a reaction to the difficult changes of globalization, and this trend is likely to expire in a few years. Indeed, we think there is a strong possibility the US may see a rush toward the center if progressive politicians take the lead in forming what has been called the “radical middle.” Both ends of the political spectrum seem exhausted, and the opportunities lie in the center. Nature abhors a vacuum in political life as well as the physical world.
TechCast considers the trend toward cooperation a major issue, and we intend to continue following it closely. Look for periodic updates.
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