American Incompetence

America has grown grotesquely dysfunctional; a trend long in the tooth.

Boeing now builds its planes so that they are programmed to fly into the ground. Boeing’s CEO, Dennis Mullenburg, didn’t know that until well after it repeatedly happened. Never mind the memos on the problem he got years earlier. Like many CEOs, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, Mullenburg is compensated hundreds of times that of average workers to be clueless.

California’s PG&E is a regulated utility. Company management saw fit to lavishly compensate executives and shareholders but not to keep its electrical system up to snuff. So, when climate change makes raging wildfires as easy to start as a single spark, PG&E equipment acts like a blowtorch. Management’s response has been to play dead with a bankruptcy filing and shut off power when there are wildfires about.

America’s infrastructure has been crumbling for decades because corporate executives and politicians were on the grift rather than on the job. Roads, bridges, dams, electrical systems, pipelines which spill toxins, sewers, wastewater treatment plants, and drinking water supply pipes comprise a short list of facilities which have been neglected instead of maintained.

Government spends like there’s no tomorrow. Only the rich are rewarded.

Band-aids cannot fix a thoroughly corrupt system. Lefty reformer politicians like Elizabeth Warren are weak tea compared to what’s needed.


“Boeing: how could the CEO know so little?,” The Week (8 November 2019).

David Gelles & Natalie Kitroeff, “Documents show safety concerns at Boeing before deadly crashes,” The New York Times (30 October 2019).

Alexis C. Madrigal, “The toxic bubble of technical debt threatening America,” The Atlantic (29 October 2019).

Martin Crutsinger, “US deficit hits nearly $1 trillion. When will it matter?,” The Washington Post (25 October 2019).

Chloe Watson, “The key moments from Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress,” The Guardian (11 April 2018).