Op-Ed: Got a complex policy issue to solve? Dynamic Problem Repair will make it go poof

Screen display of car status warning light on dashboard panel symbols which show the fault indicator
Worried about all those warning signs? No need.

When something breaks on my old beater truck, I take it to Dynamic Auto Repair on Northwestern Highway, outside Detroit. The place has been there for 30 years, and Chris, the boss, really knows his stuff.

On the wall behind the cash register is a hand-lettered sign: “Engine Warning Light Repair Kit.” Hanging from the sign are several pieces of black electrical tape. That’s it. You just put the tape over the warning light, and it’s all taken care of. This is a brilliant example of old-fashioned American resourcefulness.

Now, I’m proud to say, our leaders in Washington are bringing that kind of ingenuity to bear on what the “experts” call complex social policy questions, and the problems are vanishing like morning dew. It’s inspiring.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. And it can be applied to almost anything.

So-called scientists say we have a problem with human-caused climate change? They produce endless charts and graphs showing disturbing trends? Disintegrating arctic ice? Disappearing species? Scary weather patterns? Our leadership has figured out the solution: Just fire the scientists. Stop funding the agencies that support the research. No more data. No more troubling reports. No more complex policy problem. And you save money too.

We could call it Dynamic Problem Repair. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. And it can be applied to almost anything.

“Experts” say our healthcare system costs more than any other in the world, but our life expectancy is crummy and getting worse, and our rates of maternal death and infant death put us on par with Pakistan? Stop funding the agencies that collect the data. Presto!

People get grossed out by videos of workers torturing animals at factory farms and meat-packing plants? Pass a law that makes it a crime to make the videos. Poof!


It’s so obvious once you see how it works. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?

And it’s not just good for wiping out public policy issues; Dynamic Problem Repair works on personal stuff too. Your doctor gives you bad news? Get a different doctor. Or stop going to doctors all together. Make up your own medical advice. It’s a free country.

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Don’t like what your bathroom scale says? Print your ideal weight on a sticky note and stick it over the little window on the scale. If that’s not good enough, contact me. I’ve got an idea for a scale that you can set to whatever weight you want. You step on it, and your perfect weight appears in the little window. You can eat as many bacon cheeseburgers as you want. With a hot fudge sundae for dessert. It’ll be a gold mine!

And then we can do the same thing for blood pressure and insulin testers. We could even do it for your checking account statement. Why should you have to put up with that depressing statement you get from your bank? We can set up a company that will send you a statement that will make you proud!

We could bring Dynamic Problem Repair to every part of the globe. Once we solve climate change and healthcare, we could erase poverty and world hunger. We might even get invited to Davos!

Barry Goldman is an arbitrator and mediator in Michigan. He is the author of “The Science of Settlement.”

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