Category Archives: United States
The fault with Ebola can be spread far and wide. Start with our Homeland security not seeing Ebola as a threat. Move to a do-nothing congress unwilling to fund research and development, equipment and training. Then look at a racist, hubris filled country which did not demand action while this disease was decimating African nations and believes that somehow chanting USA! USA! makes us better and more capable than other nations. That is the pot.
Next add a drug industry uninterested in developing medications and treatments for conditions and diseases which don’t pay and instead concentrate on developing drugs for men (Viagra, Cialis) and the wealthy (Botox, Cancer treatments). Stir in apathy and a large portion of unwillingness to see beyond the bottom line.
Bring to a boil over a fire of mistaken belief that Americans are John Wayne clones who can handle any threat with enough gun fire.
Now go to Texas where these beliefs are exaggerated. Enter a corporate hospital where oversight is slack, and budgeting focuses on corporate gain instead of patient care. Investment in employee training and personal protective equipment is minimal, despite the deaths overseas and the growth of local refugee populations. Overconfidence and lack of understanding of the situation upon patient admission left any who came in contact exposed. The incompetence and lack of training of the state and local health departments as well as the hospital’s concerns about liability (nurses were advised to use their best judgement) combined with a media mandate to minimize the threat in order to not “cause a panic” despite the very facts they were reporting, to create an environment in which contamination and transmission were practically guaranteed.
Finally, sprinkle liberally with a health care system that encourages the poor to stay away from diagnosis and treatment until they are in extremis and you have not just a recipe, but a mandate for disaster. At each level ignorance, greed, overconfidence, dodging of responsibility and racism are putting not just Americans, but the entire hemisphere at risk.
However, this is hardly the time to be divesting ourselves of experts. Reporters at CNN stated “Americans don’t want to be told to stay at home and watch daytime TV for three weeks”. Of course we don’t. But, it doesn’t matter what we want now. It doesn’t matter what the bottom line is. It doesn’t matter how many guns you have or what political party you belong to. We have to put all that aside, admit it and deal with it.
Ebola is a deadly epidemic and it’s here. It’s in Dallas, and it’s quite possibly cropping up in other Texas cities, in New Haven, Connecticut and perhaps Ohio. It will show up in other places. We can’t close our borders to disease. A wall won’t keep it out. America is going to have to buckle down and prepare. We will have to spend money. We will have to learn something. We will have to train people.
We don’t have time to argue about blame. That will have to wait. We need to get to work. Together.
Magical thinking is the belief that facts can be changed by repeating words or phrases that are not based in reality. In this case it’s that cutting taxes will cure our financial problems. Ask any Tea Partier, tax cuts will solve the financial problems of the United States. Big businesses will use that money to expand and hire more American workers, money will be spread around and everyone will share in the wealth. All this if we just cut taxes.
Unfortunately, the reality is that big businesses have had tax cuts and still do have them and none of these outcomes are happening. Unemployment is still high, businesses are still shipping jobs overseas and citizens are losing their homes in record numbers. This is the actual result of tax cuts. Still, there are a lot of folks in Congress are sprinkling dried toad powder into bowls of stumpwater, chanting their magical spell: Tax cuts will save the nation.
In the past I have asked senators and congressmen who’ve contacted me for my support to explain the tax cut magic to me. None of them have answered me. And I’m not surprised because when you really start looking at the system, it makes no sense.
- The biggest employer in the United States IS the United States. If the Federal Government stops spending, jobs are lost.
- When jobs are lost, those who lose them are no receiving incomes.
- People without incomes are not getting tax cuts.
- If folks aren’t getting tax cuts (or incomes, for that matter) how are they going to spend?