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Month: October 2020

Ten lessons for a post-pandemic world: must-read new book by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria (some shared morsels)

"America will always disappoint its most ardent detractors—and admirers. It’s a big, complicated place, and you can always find in it what you want. But the pandemic laid bare fissures that have been persistently widening. They were best described decades ago by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who wrote that America was defined by “private opulence and public squalor.” The United States has long had a dazzling private sector, but its public institutions, with a few exceptions—such as the independent, self-funded, and highly respected Federal Reserve—limp along. Washington can throw money at a problem, which often does the job eventually, but it cannot run a complex national program to serve a collective benefit. Social Security—whose job is mainly to write checks—works, while the Veterans Administration is a bloated, bureaucratic disaster... These ills of government are an American, not a democratic, disease. Many other democracies handled this pandemic effectively, better than any dictatorship. That list includes countries run by political parties of all stripes"

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