The Cost of Inaction is Greater than Cost of Action


CSS, PMS Solved Essays | The Cost of Inaction is Greater than Cost of Action

The essay is attempted by Hamza Obaid on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches to his students, who have consistently been qualifying their CSS, and PMS essays. Sir Syed Kazim Ali has been Pakistan’s top English writing and CSS, PMS essay and precis coach with the highest success rate of his students. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice essay writing techniques and patterns.

1- Introduction

  • 1.1- The socio-active portrayal of a country on active decision-making and timely action.
  • 1.2- China-the world’s second-largest economy- a glaring example of action on productivity and active decision making.
  • 1.3- Inaction a cause of multifaceted issues, such as loss of lives through untimely mitigation of hazards and unable to cope with changing world trends, causing a reduction in the global market.
  • 1.4- Inactive decision-making and action result in poor governance and deterioration of the social development of a country.
  • 1.5- Timely action proves costly initially but way more effective and productive than inaction.

2- Understanding the phrase

  • The cost of inaction greater than the cost of action
  • Importance of taking action and decision-making on time

3- Why cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action?

  • Resulting in the evolution of a small problem into a complex one, deterring social-economic development
    Evidence: Energy crisis in Pakistan has become an unsolvable problem due to inaction to shift from non-renewable energy to renewable.
  • Missing the available opportunities of growth in the market and financial well-being, blocking future advancement
    Evidence: Nokia-a technology giant in the late 1900s- has disappeared from the market due to inaction to adapt to changing market trends.
  • Escalating environmental degradation and life loss, affecting infrastructural and social damage
    Evidence: Climate change and the world’s inaction to mitigate the challenges have resulted in the loss of more than 5000 lives in 2022.
  • Damaging the reputation of a country and leadership, hindering future relations and people’s trust
    Evidence: Trump’s administration’s inaction to cope with COVID-19 weakens public trust in leadership 
  • Triggering legal and regulatory penalties, instigating financial and reputational loss
    Evidence: Facebook’s (Meta) inaction to secure public privacy triggers legal penalties on data sharing on Meta in European Union
  • Inhibiting employee productivity and morale, impeding an organization’s progress
    Evidence: According to Fredrick Taylor Scientific Management Theory, “ Manager action results in increase in productivity of its department.”
  • Causing social problems to rise, hampering social growth and betterment in standards of living
    Evidence: Inaction to solve problems like poverty, corruption, and unemployment leads towards an increase in crime rate and deferment in social indicators.

4- Case Studies

  • Pakistan and the climate change
  • COVID-19 and the USA

5- Critical Analysis

6- Conclusion

The socio-political active portrayal of a country’s image on the world’s canvas depends upon its dynamic decision-making and action on specific issues. And this portrayal has proven to be a pillar on which a country’s social and political basis stands in this globalized world. The example of China-the world’s 2nd largest economy- is a shining star in this regard, which through action in productivity and active policymaking, has become a world giant. However, countries that do not take timely action pay a greater price as a simple problem becomes complex over time, ultimately deterring socio-economic development. Moreover, organizations that do not adapt to the changing trends gradually diminish forever. To elaborate, Nokia- a technology giant in the late 1900s- has been reduced from the world’s scene due to its inability to cope with new challenges. Last but not least,  the world’s ineptness in dealing with climate change has caused the loss of thousands of lives worldwide. Closing the sea in a jar and taking action on time may prove costly initially; nevertheless, it is way more productive and effective than not taking action at all. This essay highlights why the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action. As aptly said by Ernest Hemingway,

“Seeing a problem and not doing something about it is like cutting your leg after a small scar instead of treating it.”

The saying, ”The cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action”, means that it is better to act on time and bear its consequences than to never act on it. It is better to mitigate the challenges and find a solution to a problem rather than wait for God’s plan. Similarly, in the case of a disease, it is best to treat it as early as possible. Moreover, taking action against any social problem is necessary rather than making it cancer for society. Therefore, the consequences of not taking action at all are far larger than taking action on time. As it is a common saying, “Prevention is better than cure.”

It is pertinent to throw light on how taking action on time is necessary to mitigate the problems. To begin with, a small problem grows into a complex one if not tackled on time. The problem, which can be solved easily, becomes a critical and national problem and is very difficult to solve. For instance, the energy crisis in Pakistan has become a complex and unsolvable problem in the country due to a lack of action on time. If the country shifts its resources from non-renewable gas, coal, petrol- to renewable sources-solar, wind- on time, the problem can easily be mitigated on time, and the country does not have to face an extreme energy crisis, leading to economic loss. Hence, a small problem becomes a large one if not treated on time and brings larger consequences with it.

Moreover, inactive decision-making leads to not fully capturing the growth opportunities and missing advancement in the modern world. This gradually leads to the diminishing of an organization from the market, leading to financial loss. A glaring example in this regard is Nokia- a technology giant in the late 1900s. The organization has not been able to cope with the modern changes due to its inaction on time, resulting in the diminishment of the organization from the world market. This shows why taking action on time is necessary for progress in the contemporary world and how not taking action leads to failure.  As said by Elon Musk,

“ Making changes on time is necessary, and those who do not change with time, slowly but gradually, find themselves out of market.”

Furthermore, it not only disrupts the progress of an organization but also has severe effects on human lives as well in the form of not acting against environmental changes. Inactive decision-making against climate change has resulted in loss of hundreds of thousands of loss of lives and the migration of people from their native areas. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, more than 3 million have migrated and loss of more than 5000 lives in 2022 due to events due to climate change.  Therefore, in order to mitigate challenges posed by climate change, taking action well on time is necessary; otherwise, the consequences must be catastrophic.

Additionally, countries that are slow in decision-making or do not act on time would lose their reputation and not be seen as a progressing countries in the world. For example, during Covid-19, the Trump administration in the USA had not been able to cope with the pandemic, resulting in loss of many lives due to its inability to take actions on time. Consequently, the people lost faith in the administration which resulted in a loss in the next elections. Hence, it is important to make policies on time to maintain a relationship of trust.

Apart from marring the image of a government, inaction sometimes also leads towards financial and legal penalties, instigating financial and reputational loss of an organization. The organization lose the trust of its customers, resulting in economic loss. For instance, Facebook (Meta) has faced legal and financial penalties when found guilty of not taking care of personal information and not acting on time to safeguard people’s privacy. European Union have put restrictions on the organization’s data handling procedures for the future. It affects the relationship of its users and could potentially cause a huge setback for future data-sharing policies.

Next to it, inaction against employee policies and work lets down the morale of employees and inhibits progress and productivity. If a company does not take action for the welfare of its employees, it definitely, results in low morale, which would cause the production rate to go lower. The low production rate ultimately affects the economic capacity of the organization. Therefore, for better employee-employer relationships and for maximum capacity, to act on time is necessary; otherwise, it would have far larger consequences. As mentioned in Scientific Theory given by Fredrick Taylor

“ Manager action results in an increase in productivity of its department.”

Last but not least, inaction against social evils gives them the freedom to nurture freely and hampers the growth and development of a country. It deteriorates the lives of people at all levels. For example, inaction to solve the growing urbanization causes an increase in unemployment, which results in poor economic condition of the country. If the people do not have jobs, they will try to earn either by hook or by crook, causing anarchy in society. Therefore, not acting against social problems would cause them to grow into a bigger evil and disrupts the social, political, and economic fabric of a country.

It is important to discuss some events where inaction against a problem leads to far consequences. In this regard, Pakistan- a gloomy example- where the country’s government’s inaction to deal with climate change resulted in heavy floods in 2022, affecting 33 million people and causing the loss of 1730 lives, according to the World Bank. The administration’s untimely steps resulted in the loss of $2 billion worth of crops, a huge dent in the economy of the state. The federation has lacked in planning, such as building water reservoirs, planting arid lands, and managing the disaster through mitigation of impacts. Hence, inaction results in the loss of valuable lives and casts a huge shadow on the economy of the country.

Another example in this regard is the USA’s administration inaction against Covid-19, causing the loss of 1.12 million lives. The US government did not take action against overwhelming cases of the pandemic in the country, disrupting the social and economic fabric of the country. Additionally, it has resulted in an economic loss of up to $2 trillion dollars in the form of trade and healthcare facilities. The people of the state have lost faith in the administration, resulting in a change of government in the new elections. Therefore, it can be understood that inaction against problems, which can be seen as minor, results in the loss of hundreds and thousands of lives.

Critically, organizations or countries sometimes do not take action due to their vested interest and do not care about their employees or local public. They sought not to act to avoid any responsibility that might fall upon them. They try to put the blame on others to absolve themselves from all their duties. Moreover, at times, it is best to wait and to react after the disaster has occurred, like in natural disasters. However, it is the responsibility of the administration to act on time and mitigate the problem as much as possible. As John F. Kennedy said,

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Closing the sea in a jar, it is necessary to act on time to avoid any kind of problem. However, governments’ or organizations’ vested interests have always been barriers in the way of timely action, leading to making a simple problem turn into a complex one. Moreover, it hampers the social and economic fabric of a country by causing loss of lives and economic issues. Climate change and Covid-19 are one of the major alarming issues that can be mitigated by taking action on time. Therefore, active decision-making and taking action it is necessary to alleviate all the challenges that can prove fatal to a country’s social well-being.

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