Government Incompetence: Visible in Every Decision the Government Makes
In my view, if the Covid pandemic of 2020 has highlighted one thing, it’s that government incompetence is just as alive now as always.
Now, to be clear, I’m not referring to the Trump Administration’s response to Covid. What Trump did once it became clear that China had lied and Americans were dying was rely on the federalist system that our Founders designed.
He left it to the states to do what they saw fit based on their unique situations and populations. When they needed supplies, he used the resources of the federal government to get them needed medical supplies and resources. Hence why both Gavin Newsom and Governor Cuomo thanked Trump for what he gave them.
Although are things he could have done better, such as messaging on the pandemic, the federalist response was probably the right one because it allowed solutions to be developed at the local level, where they’re the most relevant, and kept at least one layer of government someone out of the situation.
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Governor Cuomo: Case in Point of the Government Incompetence Pandemic
But many states messed up in huge ways. Cuomo shipped sick, elderly New Yorkers back to nursing homes. Here’s the information that AP, a relatively unbiased source, gives on that topic:
“More than 4,500 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation’s deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press.”
Think that shows government incompetence? Me too. But, before jumping to conclusions, let’s see what the results of Cuomo’s policy of sending Covid-affected patients to occupied nursing homes was. As The Federalist said in a recent article:
“That should have changed once it was clear that one of the hottest of the pandemic’s hotspots — New York’s nursing homes — were compelled by a state regulation to take in recovering coronavirus victims, many of whom were likely still contagious.
The implication of this rule — which was apparently strictly enforced and similar to the order issued by California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration — was that facilities filled with exactly the most vulnerable population had no choice but to admit carriers of the contagion. The results of this blunder were as brutal as they were predictable. As of last week, New York’s Health Department estimated the number of nursing home patients who had died of COVID-19 to be 3,500, a total representing more than 20 percent of all the state’s fatalities.
As reports of the suffering going on in nursing homes made clear, what happened was not a function of demography or chance. The March 25 order handed down by Cuomo’s Health Department mandating that nursing homes could not reject those recovering from the illness set in motion the events that inflated the state’s COVID-19 death tolls.
Far from realizing the mistake and seeking to correct it, Cuomo was still doubling down on the order at an April 26 press conference, at which he said again that nursing homes had no right to challenge the state order and reject patients who were likely to spread the illness.
When a reporter challenged him, asking whether upholding the order contradicted his admission that what was going on in these facilities was a “feeding frenzy” for the virus, Cuomo refused to acknowledge the problem. Instead, he insisted that any institution that didn’t have quarantine space or sufficient equipment to protect other patients or staff could request to have coronavirus victims transferred elsewhere.”
So, yeah, it didn’t end well. Cuomo’s policy of sending sick New Yorkers back to nursing homes seems like an excellent example of government incompetence. But, unfortunately, it’s not the only example of government incompetence that we’ve seen during the Covid pandemic.
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The Other Example: Dr. Fauci
If there was ever an obvious bureaucrat and great example of government incompetence within the bureaucracy, it was Dr. Fauci. Remember that guy, the one who has appeared on TV in a ridiculous lab coat every day and lectured Americans on how they need to follow his mandates to the letter? Just kidding, how could anyone not know who he is by now?
He is a prime example of government incompetence. With practically every issue that has come up, he has flip flopped. Here’s a great YouTube video by Stephen Crowder on Dr. Fauci’s flip-flopping:
Fauci said the much-feared “2nd wave” was inevitable, then he said it wasn’t. He said masks were useless and should not be worn. Then he said they weren’t useless, but were actually very important and everyone should wear one. He said travel bans were irrelevant. Then, all of a sudden, he defended them. He said it was nothing to worry about with it; then, you guessed it, he said that Covid was a huge problem and hundreds of thousands, if not more, could die. And so on and so forth; on issue after issue, Dr. Fauci has flip-flopped.
As Jesse Waters said:
“He has flip-flopped more than a politician. This guy is supposed to be the expert. You would think experts could say ‘I don’t know’. But they don’t, because they are experts and they think they know everything.”
In other words, Fauci is a prime example of government incompetence. Not only does he not know anything, but he also doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, which is just as problematic, if not more so.
The point isn’t that Fauci might not know everything. That’s obvious. I think he knows nothing of practical value. But that’s not why he embodies government incompetence; most people don’t really know anything.
Fauci is an example of why the government is incompetent because he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, but still plows forward and speaks and acts constantly. A competent person would take the time to look at the facts and settle on a reasonable course of action so that major mistakes are avoided.
Fauci didn’t, of course. He makes statements and acts without supporting what he said in any way whatsoever. It’s disgraceful and emblematic of government incompetence. Moderation and caution is the way to approach issues, not top-down diktats that constantly change and spur reckless and potentially costly actions, such as tyrannical lockdowns.
The Bigger Issue: Government Incompetence is Present Everywhere
As the government incompetence meme at the top implies, the government is pretty much always incompetent.
Bailing out the Big Banks during the Recession was a bad idea and very poorly handled; we should have just let the invisible hand do what it always does and save us. Furthermore, the government’s policies hurt many good banks by making them take on bad assets. And, of course, that whole recession was the fault of the government, which made banks give mortgage loans to people who did not qualify.
Similarly, how government handles regulation is a major example of government incompetence. Regulations, generally crafted by useless bureaucrats like Fauci and lobbyists with special interests, crush small business with inordinate costs that are much more easily borne by Big Business. Is that what you’d call a social success? I think not.
And there are other examples, of course. Deciding to invade Iraq. Deciding to bomb Libya. The lockdowns and economically brutal policies in many blue states, which I discussed in my post on the “tale of two states meme.” Not focusing on fiscal responsibility, but instead increasing the skyrocketing national debt each year. I’ll stop there, but there are infinite examples.
What is The Solution to the Government’s Incompetence?
What is the solution to that incompetence? I have two ideas.
The first is to do what Trump did: rely on federalism. Let states be laboratories so that we can experiment with different policies and find out what works at the local level. New York will need different policies than Georgia, just as NYC will need different policies than rural New York. By relying on local leaders to find solutions acceptable and workable for their areas we can avoid the incompetence that stems from top-down solutions.
The second solution is to decrease the size of the government. Bureaucrats like Fauci will always be incompetent; if they were competent, they’d be in private industry. By decreasing the size of our government, we can decrease its influence and limit the potential effect of government incompetence. That will be difficult as Americans rely on government now more than ever. But, it is a possible solution and should be something that we strive towards. Trusting the government is idiotic because the government is incompetent. The only real way around that is to limit its reach by decreasing its size.
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