“We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.”
– President Barack H. Obama fires up the troops. (Ht: Brietbart.com)
The President says we are all butt-lazy.
The Penn State football sex scandal, and the depraved response of the university community at all levels, tells whatever you need to know about the spiritual condition of this floundering, rudderless, republic and its ignoble culture….Every new day that dawns lately gives further proof that we are a wicked people who deserve to be punished.
– James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler conflates Jerry Sandusky and his bureaucratic enablers as the symbol of modern American officialdom. This view can only be reinforced by the fact that the judge who gave Sandusky lenient and generous bail terms worked for Sandusky’s charity. The entire situation is reminiscent of a Nancy Pelosi securities trade. When some of us struggle just to keep our day jobs, while others can legally trade on inside information and thereby outperform the market by 12%, I can totally get why Kunstler feels America is just a feudal Potemkin republic, run by cronyism and back-room deals.
What this calls for is a vast simplification and a ruthless down-sizing of the machine out of control. If a leading GOP contender for President can’t even remember the names of all the agencies in his state that have come and gone; I can assure you that his government is somewhere corrupt. I’m not saying this makes Gov. Perry a bad human being who likes corruption and graft. I also don’t believe the man is stupid.
What I am saying is that any system that large and that complicated is impossible to intelligently police. Rats and scumbags seek out places with inscrutable, Byzantine layers of cubicles. Nobody knows where the skeletons are buried and smart people stay silent as long as the big, fat envelopes get passed around in time for Christmas. If Rick Perry were St Francis of Assisi; he would still have corrupt, amoral dirt-bags lurking in the shadows of his state government.
There is a fundamental reason why corruption akin to the insider trading Members of Congress and the chicken-hawking Penn State Defensive Coordinator goes unchallenged. Everybody thinks they get more in return from the goods or services these people produce than they lose by the corruption. Even if they don’t personally get the big, fat envelope in time for Christmas, they are more than a little bit afraid of the bad-asses who do. This makes people who know darn well what’s buried in the ear marks of legislation ignore it and hope they get their turn at the trough. It makes the Graduate Assistant who sees the Defensive Coordinator leaning a ten-year old boy against a wall in the shower call his parents and a lawyer first – before he beats the crap out of Jerry Sandusky and reports his misdeeds to the nearest police precinct and demands an immediate arrest.
Eventually, the corruption grows and it warps the purpose for which the government bureaucracy exists. Can anyone honestly claim Penn State would have kept Jerry Sandusky on staff if he hadn’t helped Penn State into Linebacker U and brought in $70M per year to Happy Valley? Does anyone think Nancy Pelosi would get away with rearranging her legislative calendar to help out her husband’s IPO investments if she were a back-bencher? Of course not! A lot of people were making a lot of money and knowingly chose to let Sandusky molest children and Pelosi steal money so that they could get theirs too.
We can’t count on a human being choosing decency or morality after they’ve been paid off. We know that we and our fellow human beings both sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This activity gets harder, when there isn’t a bunch of stuffed shirts and stove-piped organizational charts to hide the criminals within. None of us, even the basest and most crude; sin and fall short of God’s glory in front of the neighbors.
Therefore, more of what the most powerful members of our society do has to occur in public view. Make qualified experts see the computer code of PSU Climate Scientist Michael Mann, and then discuss his hockey stick curve. Make people more aware of how USC, Penn State and Alabama operate their football programs with state taxpayer dollars. We would be briefly sickened by what we observed at all three of these institutions. Then, some evil men would go to prison and the B(C)S would stop.
The way we can make these activities more public, is to make the bureaucracies smaller. We get rid of all the hiding places. We make them justify who gets to use their facilities and spend their monies on a regular cycle. Plato was once famously asked “Who will guard the guardians.” He replied with stunning ignorance that the guardians will guard themselves.
Plato’s reply was both morally and objectively wrong. You and I guard the guardians. Yet you and I can’t possibly do this if the guardians are too numerous and too far-flung. America will only become a decent nation again when its government and its public institutions are significantly down-sized. If we fail to reduce the size of our public institutions, we can expect the Penn State child rape and the Congressional insider stock trades to become typical rather than exceptional activities of our governing entities. How’s that for Obamacare?