Status Here We Come?
Societies that tolerate deep divides in income and
wealth, new research suggests, invite pandemic
By Sam Pizzigati
May 30, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - Americans have at
various times in our past battled horrific bouts with
infectious disease. And Americans have lived through
times of sheer economic desperation. But we’ve never —
until this corona spring — experienced both at once.
The stats out this week have made this grim landmark
“official.” Over 100,000 Americans now dead from
Covid-19. Over 40 million claims for unemployment
insurance. No nation on Earth has lost as many people to
the coronavirus. No rich nation on Earth has a
population less economically secure.
The United States is becoming, commentators have
begun to contend, a “failed state.” We don’t, to be
sure, have warlord gangs speeding through our
neighborhoods, brandishing automatic weapons out of
open-top jeeps. But we do have fanboys of our nation’s
top elected leader carrying long guns into legislative
chambers and screaming red-faced at lawmakers they
one trigger-pull away,”
laments veteran Mideast
journalist Lucian Truscott IV, “from what happens every
day in places like Kabul and Mogadishu and Tripoli.”
editor Seth Ackerman, betray “a deep lack of
administrative capacity,” be those institutions the
bureaucracies that deal with safety-net benefits or the
mail or even elections. State unemployment offices run
on obsolete 1960s-era software that only “old retired
former programmers” know how to fix.
The corona pandemic has put a spotlight on that
obsolete software — and so much more.
crisis demanded a response that was swift, rational, and
notes George Packer in
the Atlantic. “The United States reacted
instead like Pakistan or Belarus — like a country with
shoddy infrastructure and a dysfunctional government
whose leaders were too corrupt or stupid to head off