Atlas shrugged in real-time: US government incompetence over full COVID display


America is still one of the greatest countries on the planet with a solid foundation of democracy. But, there is mold in the cupboards. The moldy shag rug stinks of old Budweiser. And the popcorn ceilings must go. Only that the popcorn cap is our electoral process.

“There must be a conspiracy involving the rich and powerful, the things our government is doing just don’t make sense!” noticed a close friend who stayed with me over New Years.

I replied, “No. it just highlights how much we’ve let the system go bad, and a lot (not all) of those in power are just not that bright. And also imagine, who would want the job? It’s like running for president of the Homeowners Association. There is a certain type of person who applies to these jobs, much like the bitchy face person at rest at your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).

When I returned from Afghanistan in 2002, and then left the Navy, things started to bother me. I wondered, “How can we as Americans keep people abroad in Cuba for the sole purpose of depriving them of their basic human rights under the Constitution of the United States of America?” “. It suffices to hold them indefinitely without due process.

I used to think that our elected officials at the highest levels of government were much smarter. I was wrong.

And it didn’t take a frowning political science student to point out to us on the evening news the bad blinds and the shag rug. It took a global pandemic coupled with an election season to expose all the incompetence.

Some highlights:

  • PPP loans have been made to some of the wealthiest companies (some publicly traded, some state-owned!)
  • There is no long term plan. This is what I put on both the Trump administration and the Biden team. No one has come up with a real plan that would alleviate a lot of Americans’ worries about what lies ahead. Just more of the same talk, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine”. Totally unacceptable leadership.
  • Stimulus controls are a joke. A grocery store or two at best. While it is admittedly difficult to inject billions into the economy, any economist could develop a long-term stimulus for Americans most affected that does not tip the economic balance upside down. If we can bail out the big banks in the last crisis, we certainly have the capacity to help Main Street and Americans.
  • The state’s rules are crazy and change every week. An example. Dining out in New York has been banned, but feel free to shop in crowded department stores. My friend was actually fined by New York City for feeding his employees inside! Both worked side by side as cooks and returned home after their shifts. He explained this and the city smiled and fined him $ 8,000. This is how incompetent local government is in New York City. Unbelievable. I hope what I’ve heard that restaurants in the city have come together to ban the mayor and governor from eating at their establishments is true.
  • Covid tests are inaccurate and results take too long. My first COVID-19 test results, at a private clinic in New York City, arrived three weeks later.
  • Unidentified deaths are classified as COVID-related deaths because the government created a financial incentive around COVID-related deaths. This massively skews the data and is a waste of taxpayer money.
  • Our voting system belongs at best to the Stone Age. If we can outsource our banking to the Internet, we can certainly vote by phone with a special ID. China has skipped ATMs and gone straight to mobile payments! WE ARE AMERICA people, let’s wake up and start acting like this. The two parties offer us a candidate for the head or the stomach every four years. We can and must do better… The system is a duopoly that must be deepened.
  • In order to get a bill through the House and the Senate, we had to give everyone something to get it through. We couldn’t have a simple COVID-19 relief bill, our government insisted on a massive 5,000-plus-page document that no one in their right mind could (or could) read in its entirety … You think the history class was boring !? Try to read this baby once!
  • The cumulative poor decision-making and poor leadership of our elected officials has exacerbated income inequality in 2020. We are now very close to a situation that resembles South America and Russia when it comes to the gap of wealth. Most of our population will be very poor and the small percentage will get richer. The sobering data on this subject is already there. This is one of the first things we studied when I was in my program at Harvard Business School.

Alas, everything depends on us! Because WE HAVE the power to organize and create change. But it will take difficult conversations and collective debate to find the way forward. I just hope we decide to do it before the foundation starts to crack.

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