And so we face the ultimate irony: ‘bailing-out-everything’ destroys the entire rotten system.
You’ve probably noticed things no longer work as well as they once did. For example, the store’s online inventory says something is in stock and when you get to the store, it’s not on the shelf. A small issue, but telling nonetheless.
Or you might call a local government agency to get an explanation of how a new fee is calculated, and nobody’s ever available to explain it–or sort out your punitive late fee even though you paid on time.
You’ve probably noticed services cost a lot more now, but the quality has eroded. Sure, it’s easy to blame it all on the pandemic, but quality has been eroding as costs have risen for years.
You’ve probably noticed massive cost overruns in public projects. That $1 billion bridge is now $3 billion–oh, sorry, make that $4 billion. If we ever get it finished, better estimate $5 billion.
You’ve probably noticed that enormous investments in infrastructure, education, reducing homelessness, etc. don’t actually improve the situation or fix what’s broken. Even the most basic projects take years or decades, congestion and homelessness increase, and education that’s not aligned with the real economy flounders on.
You’ve probably noticed that all the highly paid analysts, academics, think-tank gurus, private-sector hotshots, etc. are either clueless, incoherent or delusional. All their “solutions” boil down to one recommendation: keep the feeding trough filled to the brim, no matter how many hogs are gorging themselves.
Incompetence is now so ubiquitous, so embedded, so obvious and so intractable that we finally have to recognize that America has institutionalized incompetence. Why? That’s an interesting question with no one answer.
Broadly speaking, self-interest is all that matters. Every decision is made to maximize self-interest while cloaking the predation with sickly-sweet propaganda of the most transparent type.
Institutions protect insiders because every insider must mask their self-interest and the general failure of the institution. Insiders protect other insiders lest transparency reveal the insiders’ skims and scams and the failure of the institution to fulfill its purpose.