The recent Volcker Alliance paper “Vision + Action = Faithful Execution – Why Government Daydreams and How to Stop the Cascade of Breakdowns that Now Haunts It” should be a wake-up call for anyone who cares about America.

It documents the increasing rate of major government breakdowns and the reasons they happen. Forty-eight major breakdowns since the year 2000 are cataloged and analyzed.

The paper talks about how America’s greatest achievements – everything from space exploration, to veterans’ care, to environmental protection – are all falling prey to a combination of bad policy, inattention, and inaction.

Are we on the cusp of adding GPS and our economic prosperity to that list? Increasing threats to GPS, our increasing dependence on GPS, and a 2004 presidential mandate to protect GPS that is still unfulfilled all point that way.

Should the recent steps by the PNT ExCom to start talking about eLoran offer us hope? Perhaps. Though the Volcker paper shows that, in the last two years of an eight year administration, actions to protect national achievements are less likely and epic breakdowns are more likely.

Let’s all work to beat the odds.