GRE Issue Essay 40
“Any decision-whether made by government, by a corporation, or by an individual person-must take into account future conditions more than present conditions.”
We all have been faced with a dilemma when we have to take a split-second decision and there is no time to think about what will happen in the future. For instance, you are driving on the highway and you see that there are less number of vehicles on the road. Would you move over to the wrong lane in order to overtake another speeding vehicle, or would you take into account future conditions where the number of vehicles plying on that lane may increase when you are on the wrong side? This makes it obvious that future conditions have to be taken into account more than the present conditions for the decisions taken to be effective and profitable in the long run.
The future holds a lot of uncertainties. Consider that there is a major project underway at a business enterprise and a decision has to be taken regarding the best time for the launch of a new product. How should the best time for the launch be arrived at? Should it be based on the present market conditions or on the likely market conditions in the future? What will happen if the product is launched after studying the present market conditions only? It is likely that a competitor was planning to launch a similar product in the future and seeing the price of the product launched by this company, the competitor reduces the price of its product thereby breaking the market for the product that was launched without studying the future. Additionally, it is likely that the government was going to impose restrictions on the import and export of certain items thereby affecting the sale or the manufacture of the new product. If this had been studied beforehand, then the decision to launch the product could have been postponed or the affected items could have been procured in bulk before the restrictions were imposed. Therefore, it can be seen that decisions taken by corporations and business organizations are largely dependent on what the future conditions will be like.
The decisions taken by the government determine the future of an entire nation and hence they have to be taken after due deliberation. Most of the governments across the world have always taken major decisions after considering the future conditions more than the present conditions. For instance, Iraq may not have been a major threat to any other nation at the time when the decision to wage a war against Iraq was taken by the American government. However, it is a well known fact that the American government had taken this decision by taking into account future conditions when the weapons assumed to be possessed by Iraq could have spelled doom for the other nations of the world.
As far as an individual is concerned, it is absolutely necessary for him to take all major decisions depending on the future conditions. Why do people buy retirement policies wherein they have to pay a huge chunk of money annually as installments? This is because they have planned for their future when they will have money in their hands after they have retired from their jobs. If a person thinks only about his present condition where he has a job and he gets a salary every month, then he may not take the decision of investing money in a retirement plan. However, once he takes the future conditions into account, he realizes that he needs to take a decision regarding his savings if he wants to spend his retired life without any financial constraints.
In view of the above, it can be seen that the future conditions are far more important than the present conditions when it comes to taking a decision and this holds true for corporations, governments and individuals as well.