Friday, December 04, 2020

Covid Is Revealing the Cancerous Underbelly of U.S. Healthcare

If you still believe that America's Sickcare is "the finest in the world" and is endlessly sustainable, please study these three charts and extend the trendlines.

I've long been making the distinction between healthcare and sickcare: healthcare is the service provided by frontline operational caregivers (doctors, nurses, aides, technicians, etc.) and sickcare is the financialized system of Big Hospital Corporations, Big Insurers, Big Pharma, etc. and their lobbyists that keep the federal money spigots wide open.

This financialized sickcare system is being consumed by the cancer of greedy profiteering pursued by self-serving insiders. The delivery of healthcare is secondary to maximizing revenues and profits by any means available.

To believe such a corrupt system is sustainable is magical thinking at its most destructive.

Covid-19 is revealing this cancerous underbelly. Knowledge of the inner workings of corporate administration is not evenly distributed, so every participants' experience of the systemic dysfunction will vary.

Here is one MD's observations of the system's priorities. Others may have different views but the maxim follow the money is clearly the correct place to start any inquiry of how America's financialized sickcare functions in the real world.

From what I'm hearing from the front line, a not insignificant number of admissions are of folks who would not have been admitted in March when there was fear of both the unknown and systemic failure and, not coincidently, when COVID diagnoses didn't pay as much.

Today, the admission criteria for COVID is so much more flexible than for standard diagnoses like CHF, and pays so much better than other diagnoses that our 'healthcare' system is rapidly becoming a 'COVID care' system.

The surge in hospitalizations and subsequent COVID-identified deaths may be driven, in part, to health systems adapting to new COVID revenue streams.

This would seemingly be good news, after all if it's the hospital administrator's desire to fill empty beds that's driving admissions rather than infection rates, then systemic failure can be averted through moderating those admission rates based on system capacity.

If your hospital fills up, just start sending the marginal cases home--inpatient/outpatient; the outcome for the patient will be pretty much the same and you've made as much money as your capacity will allow.

Unfortunately, our healthcare 'system' doesn't work like that.

Health systems are in the business of generating revenue, not value. Recent COVID-related demand destruction has crushed that revenue so they're hungry for more.

Those in health-system operations and those in leadership live in two different worlds. Leadership will push COVID admissions far beyond any operational limits in their quest for short term performance. One cannot overstate their mendacity and drive for lucre.

Hospitals are becoming 'COVID factories' with all other admissions (which pay far less) relegated to second tier status.

Health systems are evolving into an 'all COVID, all the time' format with the emphasis on testing and (soon) vaccination, at the expense of all else.

Not a few systems of my acquaintance are laying off outpatient medical staff because their supporting personnel have quit and are not replaced--those resources are being re-directed to COVID testing and in preparation for mass vaccination.

For the health system in the business of generating revenue, it's an excellent tactic. They save themselves significant overhead by not paying the clinicians and they make up the revenue through high-margin COVID services and government bailout payments.

For patients who actually need healthcare, though, this tactic is deadly.

The perversion is end-stage, the health systems pretend to deliver healthcare and the government pays them to continue the pretense.

There is no long term thinking here, no empathy for the workforce, no thought to the mission beyond window-dressing--just a relentless, risk-adverse financialization machine.

Think of COVID as a new widget for which the customer will pay 2.5 times the going price with no quality control, but only for a limited amount of time. Add in talentless, rent-seeking leadership and all becomes clear.

Of course the real risk is that maxed out hospitals could find themselves in a situation where admissions suddenly become driven by demand rather than the business model, with a true non-linear path to failure laying beyond.

The longer daily national hospital occupancy stays above the approximate pre-COVID capacity of 100k, the more likely you'll see systemic breakdowns--local at first, then regional.

You won't see it in the press, the healthcare cartels have a pretty good lock on the local media. Once news starts getting censored on social media, though, then you know it's happening.

Hold me to that, And call me out in three months if I'm not right.


If you still believe that America's sickcare is "the finest in the world" and is endlessly sustainable, please study these three charts and extend the trendlines.







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Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

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Thursday, December 03, 2020

About Those Vaccine ID Cards...

An idea that's simple as an abstraction--vaccine ID cards--turns out to be extremely difficult once real-world operational realities must be dealt with.

Authorities around the world have made it clear that they will do "whatever it takes" to vaccinate their citizenry with one of the first available vaccines. Authoritarian states may mandate universal vaccinations while less authoritarian states will favor a "carrot and stick" approach of offering benefits to the vaccinated and exclusions from employment, education, travel and most of everyday life for those who refuse to be vaccinated.

To identify the vaccinated and unvaccinated, many nations are planning to issue ID cards or "vaccine passports." As an abstraction, this seems straightforward, but if we start digging into the actual operational requirements of this mass ID card issuance and distribution, a number of common-sense issues arise.

Vaccination cards will be issued to everyone getting Covid-19 vaccine, health officials say (CNN)

First and foremost, it's unknown how long the immunity offered by the vaccines will last. It's still early days, so there is conflicting evidence: some claim the vaccines will be longer-lasting than the natural immunity of those who caught the virus and recovered, while other evidence suggests the immunity might decay after six months. Despite claims that natural immunity is long-lasting, a non-trivial number of people who had Covid have been re-infected.

Nobody knows how long either natural or vaccine immunity will last because not enough time has elapsed to collect sufficient data.

Given these intrinsic unknowns, how long will the ID card be valid? It's easy to imagine variations in individual responses such that the vaccines' effectiveness decays more rapidly in 20% of the vaccinated. This variability would introduce tremendous unknowns that no ID card could reflect: is the holder of the card at Month 10 still immune or not?

If the duration of the vaccine's effectiveness is variable, then an ID card could be misleading. In other words, being vaccinated with a variable-duration vaccine tells us nothing about the individual's actual immunity down the road.

Given these unknowns, the vaccinated may need booster shots in the future, and the ID cards would have to be re-issued. The task of keeping track of hundreds of millions of vaccination records, identities and then issuing ID cards is a non-trivial task.

To thwart black-market fake-ID cards, the security measures will have to be equivalent to a driver's license or passport. Have you applied recently for either of these forms of ID? The process is painfully slow. The systems in place to process state drivers' licenses and U.S. passports are already strained, and which agency is prepared to verify the identity of 280 million adult citizens, confirm the validity of their vaccine and then issue ID cards--and then repeat this process in a year?

If the procedures for issuing vaccine ID cards are slapdash due to time constraints--for example, downloading a digital record from the vaccine distributor or a printed card--these will likely be vulnerable to being duplicated or spoofed. Fake vaccine distributors will pop up issuing bogus digital records, hackers might download and sell digital records from trusted sources, and so on.

Then there's the extra burdens being placed on the staff of airlines, cruise lines, etc. to scan these documents and deal with rejected cards. Who will have the legal authority to deal with claims that a rejected card is actually valid? How many smaller establishments simply won't have to staff to do more than glance at the card?

Do authorities have the means to issue hundreds of millions of absolutely secure vaccine ID cards and then monitor all the attempts to find loopholes and weaknesses in the process? If authorities think that strict penalties will limit this activity, they underestimate the difficulty in getting such penalties enforced by overloaded court systems.

In nations with strong traditions of civil liberties, there will be pushback against mandatory vaccinations with essentially untested vaccines and against national databases tying identity to vaccination cards--a situation ripe with potential for abuse.

Authorities don't seem to grasp that many of those hesitating to get vaccinated are not anti-vaxxers; they simply see the vaccine approval process as deeply flawed for common-sense reasons: for example, there is simply not enough data on safety, duration and real-world efficacy.

Authorities are counting on the "carrot" of air travel, cruises and concerts to persuade skeptics to get vaccinated despite their concerns. What authorities don't seem to realize is that a great many people value their health, privacy and agency far more than they crave air travel, cruises or concerts. They will gladly forego all these activities until more reliable data is collected, peer-reviewed and distributed for analysis.

The more draconian the measures designed to pressure people into getting the vaccines, the greater the reluctance of skeptics who see the draconian measures as additional evidence the vaccines are half-measures being forced on the populace as a means of imposing a false assurance that all is well and "normal" will return as soon as the skeptics cave in and get vaccinated.

There's also the possibility that the virus could mutate in ways that moot the vaccines' effectiveness. While this is widely considered unlikely, it's not impossible, either. If a mutated virus arises that evades the vaccine, then what value will the vaccine ID card have?

An idea that's simple as an abstraction--vaccine ID cards--turns out to be extremely difficult once real-world operational realities must be dealt with. The fact is the first vaccines have been rushed to approval with virtually none of the testing demanded of previous vaccines raises common-sense concerns which cannot be dissolved with force or carrots and sticks.



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Recent Podcasts:

The Frustrations of Unfairness Are Reaching a Boiling Point

AxisofEasy Salon #31: The Covid Episode (1 hr)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


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A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
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Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Do You Really Think the Empire Will Sacrifice the Dollar to Further Enrich Billionaires?

As for stock markets--the devil take the hindmost.

Let's keep it simple: US dollar up, stocks down. US dollar down, stocks up. Stocks up, billionaires get richer. Since that spot of bother in March 2020 when the US dollar (USD) soared and stocks cratered, the USD has been in a free-fall, boosting the wealth of America's Robber Barons and various other skimmers, scammers and other undeserving scoundrels.

Chief among the undeserving scoundrels feasting on the decline of the USD are global stock markets which have soared not because revenues and profits are soaring but because the USD has plummeted.

The Federal Reserve is widely worshiped as the Ultimate Power in the Universe, a kind of financial Death Star. The Fed has seen fit to crush the USD to further boost the wealth of billionaires and save global stock markets from their well-deserved ruin. Saving the world, ho-hum, just another day for the god-like Fed.

But something doesn't quite add up here, for as the all-powerful Fed devalues the US dollar, it destroys the exorbitant privilege of America's reserve currency. What's the exorbitant privilege? Simply this: the owner of a reserve currency can create "money" (USD) out of thin air and trade it for autos, oil, semiconductors--real-world goods that were not created out of thin air. Rather, all these real-world goods required tremendous investment and significant costs to be produced and transported.

The exorbitant privilege is something for nothing--a remarkably good deal. And yet the universal expectation is the Fed is going to throw that privilege in the dumpster by pushing the USD into the ground, first by devaluing it relative other currencies and then by letting hyper-inflation destroy what's left of its purchasing power.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the ability to create "money" out of thin air and trade it for real-world goods is the foundation of America's global power, what I call the Imperial Project. The same can be said for the other reserve currencies, the euro and the yen. (Since China's currency is pegged to the US dollar, it is not a true reserve currency; it is only a derivative of the USD.)

So let me get this straight: the Fed is consciously choosing to undermine and then lay waste to the foundation of American power--just to boost Robber Barons and zombie global stock markets? I don't think so. That the Fed would pursue a suicidal destruction of the purchasing power of the dollar just to boost stock markets and billionaires--that beggars belief.

The Fed is not the Empire, it is the handmaiden of the Empire. The Fed's dual mandate-- for PR purposes, stable employment and prices--is actually balancing the conflicting demands of a global and domestic currency--Triffin's Paradox writ large.

The inherent problem with a reserve currency is that it must meet global economic needs and domestic needs, and these are intrinsically in conflict. America's billionaires and pension funds want the US stock market to loft higher on the back of a declining USD, but that diminishes the global purchasing power of the USD--a trend heading for economic ruin.

The Fed has had numerous reasons to weaken the dollar since March: a desperate need to "save" global stock markets from well-deserved collapse, and an equally desperate need to keep the dollar weak so global debtors with loans denominated in dollars can manage to service their trillions in USD-denominated debts.

But drawing a line extending this short-term necessity all the way to hyper-inflationary oblivion is a grave misreading of the Empire's need for the exorbitant privilege of a strong dollar.

The Fed is about done with its "rescue" of billionaires and global markets and debtors. Against virtually all expectations of seers, pundits, gurus, etc. the USD is about to start serving the Empire in its foundational role. As for stock markets--the devil take the hindmost.



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

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Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

The Frustrations of Unfairness Are Reaching a Boiling Point

AxisofEasy Salon #31: The Covid Episode (1 hr)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



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Monday, November 30, 2020

2021 is Already Optimized for Failure

One sure way to identify a system "optimized for failure" is if all the insiders are absolutely confident the system is "optimized for my success".

I often discuss optimization here because it offers an insightful window into how systems become fragile and break down. When we optimize something, we're aiming to get the most bang for our buck: maximize our efficiency, profit, productivity, etc., while minimizing our costs.

To maximize our goal, whatever it is--profits, power, whatever-- we strip away redundancy and buffers because these add costs and don't boost our desired output. They create resilience, i.e. the ability to survive disruptions, but the logic of optimization is relentless: get rid of all extraneous costs, because resilience doesn't boost the bottom line.

This trade-off--trading resilience for optimization--looks brilliant when everything goes according to plan. But when events veer outside the narrow parameters of the optimized system, the system breaks down: supply chains break, safety procedures fail, and so on.

Even more consequentially, optimization strips away anti-fragility, Nassim Taleb's term for the ability to not just survive disruptions but emerge stronger and more adaptable.

What happens when inflexible, sclerotic systems optimized to benefit self-serving insiders encounter chaotic turbulence or conditions outside the expected parameters? They collapse because the system is optimized for failure. Put another way: when a system is optimized to benefit insiders at the expense of resilience and anti-fragility, it is effectively optimized to fail because life is not programmable to a steady-state, predictable stability.

2021 is already optimized for failure in key ways:

1. The mRNA vaccines have not been properly tested to answer essential questions such as: can a vaccinated individual retain enough of the virus to infect an unvaccinated individual?

As I explained before, the only way to really test a viral vaccine is to put the vaccinated volunteers in a controlled setting saturated with the virus for many hours. If none of the volunteers have any virus in their post-exposure serological tests, then the vaccine works. If the volunteers still have the virus but didn't become severely ill, this doesn't mean they can't infect others.

One of the problems is the goal of the Covid vaccine trials wasn't to determine if the virus was eliminated by the volunteers' immune system; the goal of the trials was to determine whether the vaccinated individuals became severely ill with Covid or not--with "severely ill" being conveniently left undefined.

Individuals who'd already had Covid and who took the vaccine were not tested separately for safety and after-effects, so this remains an unknown.

The unanswered questions about the vaccines' real-world results will be answered in due time, but not in the lab; they'll be answered in a public-health "experiment" without precedent.

If you wanted to design a testing process that was optimized for failure, you'd end up with this haphazard, hurried process careening toward approval. The trials and testing of the Covid vaccines are not equivalent to those applied to previous generations of vaccines.

The bigger the claims and the harder the sell, the greater the number of red flags raised. If a product works as wonderfully as advertised, it will sell itself. If "consumers" have to be coerced into buying the product, that speaks volumes--whether we're free to discuss it or not.

2. The fiscal-monetary "solution" being readied for 2021--print/borrow as many trillions as needed to prop up zombie corporations and obsolete institutions--is optimized for failure. The unstated goal here is to save everything that's been rigged to benefit self-serving insiders and never mind the consequences: we've "proven" we can print infinite trillions with no ill effects.

This appears to be true until diminishing returns hit the wall and linear dynamics suddenly spin into non-linear semi-chaos. At that point, all the levers that we reckoned were god-like in their stability and power--the Treasury selling bonds which the Federal Reserve then buys, and all the other financial tricks and manipulations--no longer work as expected.

3. The sacrosanct "solutions" that we worship as secular gods--central bank-dominated "markets" and the machinery of politics--are both optimized for failure. The "market" and politics have both incentivized extremes of indebtedness, leverage, corruption, fraud and waste, all under the happy belief that the banquet of consequences will never be served. Alas, the tables are groaning with consequences that have been piling up for 12 long years of excess speculation, manipulation and happy-talk PR.

The policies of the past 20 years boil down to this: if we keep blowing ever-larger private-sector asset bubbles, rewarding the few who own most of these assets, this "wealth" will magically restore our economic health. This is of course completely delusional: by concentrating wealth in the hands ofthe few, the policies have also concentrated political power in these same hands.

Ours is a system perfected for extremes of inequality and corruption.

If you set out to design a social-political-economic system that was supremely optimized for failure, you'd end up with America's status quo. Today's financiers are like French nobles being led off in chains discussing their next glorious party, oblivious to the end-game just ahead. The political class are like the elites haggling over games in Rome's Forum in 475 AD, months before what was left of the empire collapsed in a heap.

4. America's social cohesion has been lost, leaving only empty platitudes, suppression and coercion. "We're all in this together" shouts the captain of the galley as those chained to the oars are flogged to keep a thoroughly corrupt and illusory "growth" alive. With civic virtue lost to the moral corruption of maximizing private gain by any means available, the foundations of society have crumbled, as I explained in Moral Decay Leads to Collapse.

One sure way to identify a system optimized for failure is if all the insiders are absolutely confident the system is optimized for my success regardless of how many policies serve the infinite greed of insiders and how many red warning flags are ignored.



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

The Frustrations of Unfairness Are Reaching a Boiling Point

AxisofEasy Salon #31: The Covid Episode (1 hr)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




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Friday, November 27, 2020

Moral Decay Leads to Collapse

Our national claim of moral superiority is no longer plausible.

A very strong case can be made that America is now a moral cesspool. Consider just three cases: Jeffrey Epstein, the CEO of Pfizer and JPMorgan Chase.

Sadly, Epstein is the epitome of America's elite: getting away with abusing children for years, if not decades; when finally caught a few years ago, escaping with a legal wrist-slap; acquiring a fortune of $200 million without creating any jobs, innovations or value; buying his way into the good graces of Harvard, MIT and a seemingly endless parade of celebrities, politicians, scientists, etc.

And very par for the course in America's elite: Epstein's crimes were known by America's intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but rather than indict him, they made him an "intelligence asset" that had to protected from exposure to the consequences of the rule of law.

When some tiny sliver of light was shed on his decades of blatant corruption and exploitation, a sliver that implicated the wealthy and powerful, then Epstein was dispatched in classic Deep State fashion, in a manner that speaks volumes about the banana "republic" nature of America.

Pfizer's CEO arranged a massive sale of Pfizer stock and then timed the release of overhyped vaccine data to maximize his private gains.

Nothing illegal here, just another example of what I call legalized looting.

JPMorgan Chase manipulated markets to maximize its gains, and its $1 billion fine is just the cost of doing business in a pervasively corrupt society and economy. Nobody ever goes to prison for these billion-dollar skims, scams, frauds amd embezzlements; financial criminals get a get out of jail free card with every crime.

These three examples are just a few of thousands of examples of insider skimming and gaming the system, abuse of power, fraud, pay-to-play, embezzlement, racketeering and other forms of corruption that enrich the few at the expense of the many.

Whenever I mention America's moral decay, somebody is always quick to discount the decay with cliches such as "there's always been corruption" or "it's human nature, you'll never get rid of it."

These pathetically flimsy excuses mask the reality that America's moral decay has reached extremes that eventually trigger collapse in the financial, social and political realms.

The decay of civic virtue and the social contract is so gradual that only the few who recall specific set-points from previous generations even notice the advancing rot.

A third of the Roman Senate was killed in combat during the disastrous defeat at Cannae; can we imagine a third of the U.S. Senate putting their own lives at risk? No, we cannot; that level of sacrifice is unthinkable in America today. The protected elites have no real skin in the game. The consequences of their mismanagement fall on the unprotected many.

Can we imagine the two eldest sons of a present-day political scion volunteering for combat overseas, with one killed in combat and the other severely wounded? (Joe Kennedy, Jr. and John F. Kennedy in World War II.) Such elite sacrifice is unimaginable in today's America.

As for the social contract: to saddle young people with highly uncertain prospects with $1.7 trillion in student loan debt would have been unimaginable, If not criminal, two generations ago. Now this ruthless exploitation of students--in essence, punitive debt-serfdom that enriches the wealthiest few who own the student loans--is now the norm. Parasitic elites sucking the powerless dry is now the status quo in America.

This academic paper (via A.P.) sheds light on the severe consequences of moral decay: Moral Collapse and State Failure: A View From the Past.

In summary, the authors examined premodern states / empires with an eye on socio-economic systems that generated a social environment which provided real benefits to citizens via a moral code and good government practices.

(I would include the early Tang and Song dynasties in China of examples of such systems that were not democratic but which offered a judiciary of recourse, investment in infrastructure and other forms of public good, rule of law and social mobility.)

Yes, elite corruption is ever-present, but good governance requires limiting elite corruption as part of the social contract in which citizens support the state (paying taxes, etc.) because the state provides for the common good.

The authors point out that citizens expect relatively little of autocracies in the way of public good because the citizenry know the autocracy is a self-serving, corrupt elite. But governments that earned the consent of the governed by providing for the common good are held to a higher standard.

When the moral code that requires service to the public good decays, the legitimacy of the state collapses. Here is a quote from the paper:

"Moral failure of the leadership in this social setting brings calamity because the state's lifeblood--its citizen-produced resource-base--is threatened when there is loss of confidence in the state, which brings in its wake social division, strife, flight, and a reduced motivation to comply with tax obligations.

In the resulting weakened fiscal economy, services that citizens have come to depend on fail, including public goods and administrative control of corruption.

To realize and sustain good government is especially difficult owing in large part to the importance of shared moral obligations between citizens and the state."


In other words, a strict moral code that requires elites to devote resources and leadership for the public good is the critical foundation of the entire social, economic and political order. When this moral code decays, the state and its elites both lose legitimacy and the consent of the governed.

Put another way: once the elites have decayed to exploitive, self-serving, profiteering parasites, the public has no interest in supporting the state or its elites. Rather, they will cheer the collapse and ruin of the parasitic elites.

The explosive rise of elites' wealth and power in the past few decades has been documented and charted, and I've repeatedly posted charts showing that virtually all the real income gains of the past 20 years have flowed to the top 0.1%. This RAND study found that America's elites siphoned $50 trillion into their own pockets in the past two generations: Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018.

This is the chilling summation of America's terminal moral decay from Moral Collapse and State Failure: A View From the Past:

"Many citizens perceive that they have little stake in what should be a democratic society.

Decline in citizen confidence is compounded by a great economic transition in the US, a U-turn over the last five decades in wealth and income inequalities.

These economic shifts are undergirded by a new ethos and practices that enshrine shareholder value, personal freedom, nepotism, cronyism, the comingling of state and personal resources, and narcissistic aggrandizement in ways rarely seen in the early history of our Republic."


Our national claim of moral superiority is no longer plausible: America is a moral cesspool that cannot be drained.



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My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

The Frustrations of Unfairness Are Reaching a Boiling Point

AxisofEasy Salon #31: The Covid Episode (1 hr)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



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