The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians says that “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”
Not everyone subscribes to the Dakotas’ view. In government and academia, more complex strategies are often employed — such as:
1. Using a bigger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Appointing a blue-ribbon committee to study the horse.
4. Arranging a foreign junket to observe how other cultures ride horses.
5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
6. Reclassifying the dead horse as “living impaired.”
7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
9. Providing additional funding and training to improve the dead horse’s performance.
10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.
11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line than a live horse.
12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.
14. Instituting affirmative action quotas for dead horses.