When bureaucracy fails bad things can happen. Government can put you in danger despite promises to protect us from hazards ranging from natural disasters, to knife-wielding Islamics, to our own bad health habits.
Washington’s massive bureaucracy has a way of insinuating itself into every aspect of our lives. When we are told to depend on a system that doesn’t work the consequences can be catastrophic.
Bureaucracy fails massively?
Bureaucracy isn’t just about the line at your local Social Security Office or the endless wait for an appointment at the VA. It’s about a slew of agencies and Cabinet members assigned to make sure that government delivers the goods we pay for. Does it seem like this apparatus has been failing more than usual? Just look at the headlines. Ebola in America is an incredible example of what happens when bureaucracy fails on a massive scale.
Ebola crisis explodes, but it didn’t have to
How did a dangerous epidemic in Africa turn into a plan for medical SWAT teams and fear in the skies? Our newest crisis didn’t have to happen. Ebola didn’t get here on its own. We brought it here. Like inviting a vampire into your house, we asked an exotic disease to come in and now we don’t seem to know how to deal with it.
We shouldn’t have to coach hospitals on how to contain this kind of a problem. Our federal bureaucracy and its health care infrastructure should have ensured things never got this far. Ebola is not what hospitals do. It’s what the CDC does, but when Director Tom Frieden told the Obama administration on September 4 to get moving on a problem that we might not be able to contain if it got out of hand, the massive response we needed didn’t happen. Now it’s too late.
How do we trust a government that won’t stop air travel from hot zone nations and relied on health workers inexperienced in dealing with something this virulent? We can’t put our faith in a bureaucracy that dropped the ball on screening and failed to contain what local hospitals are not equipped or prepared to deal with, so why should we trust our president when he assures us that:
As I’ve said before, we have a public health infrastructure and systems and support that make an epidemic here highly unlikely.1
The public health infrastructure is what let a sophisticated bug out of containment. It is the same failed bureaucracy that botched the Obamacare rollout and now doesn’t seem to have a handle on who might be fraudulently qualifying for federal healthcare subsidies (see: Electronic Records: Federal System Works for Crooks). Will that infrastructure keep you out of danger?
The world is not one big community. It’s a mean, dangerous place.
During a “Global Health Security Agenda” meeting at the White House, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell echoed the vision that has steered decision making certain to keep the Obama administration in hot water:
When it comes to protecting the health of our people, it is obvious that no country can do it alone.2
The president took the argument a bit further, stating:
And so it is very important for us to understand that the investment we make in helping Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea deal with this problem is an investment in our own public health.3
It’s an investment we wouldn’t have needed so badly had we decided to keep people in the U.S. safe. Embracing the world as our friend has caused us enough grief. Now the federal bureaucracy seems to be mobilized to bring us another big problem with no good solution.
The president blew this one from day one, just like he has dropped the ball on almost every critical world event he has had to deal with. It’s not that we don’t have the resources to cope with the problems that seem to be piling up, unanswered, on this president’s plate. The U.S. could have protected our people. We could have stopped travelers from entering our country. We chose not to. Obama still hasn’t learned that the world is not one big community to mobilize. It is a dangerous place that hurts us when we forget to go overboard to protect people who have been told time and again to rely on bureaucracy to be safe, whether the threat is hurricanes, contaminated food, or a dangerous bug.
When bureaucracy fails, even the president should question the protections offered by our government. Confronted with the newest Secret Service debacle, DHS Chief Jeh Johnson observed:
It is important to remember that the U.S. Secret Service remains one of the best, if not the best, protection services in the world.4
We can only rest on our laurels for so long. Just saying that America is number one is not going to protect us from Ebola or any other crisis this administration has proven unable to cope with. Maybe that’s why we all feel like a microscopic intruder has jumped our protective fence and is about to be let loose in our neighborhoods.
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