As we reach the end of 2020, words cannot describe the abject terror, loss, and chaos that has occurred for so many of us worldwide.
From the giant fumble of the coronavirus pandemic and economic meltdown to the more recent massive compromise of government IT security, it's even more of a fact that leadership is failing us on epic levels.
I won't sugarcoat how we're supposed to feel here, this is meant to be a direct no-holds-barred editorial as we don't have corporate nor political sponsors to placate.
Leadership has shown their poorly-sown seams in 2020. Its evident in many other countries as well, but particularly evident in the US as a world-leading country. CoronaVirus wasn't the only infection costing lives, although it is a terrible epidemic, the primary infection threatens our future is the void of morality and blatant hypocrisy that manifested itself in numerous forms. Rampant corruption and greed in government and corporate leadership were recurring themes this year that lead to disinformation and confusion that many of us as tax payers are suffering from in round 2 of home confinement. We knew things could get worse but leaders, for reasons unknown, saw crisis as an opportunity to line their pockets based on insider information and nefarious relationships and abandoned their posts and it continues to this day and to us all it seems like a status quo. When did we all become so complacent with corruption and mediocrity within our chosen leaders? The future seems even more uncertain now, as news of a new mutation of COVID-19 is emerging in the UK.
As we watch the news, we're bombarded with information about "cult of personality" legislators and the process of delivery of vaccines that are nowhere near readiness for the general public. We observe celebrities, politicians, influential corporations, and the wealthy receiving financial aid, regulatory leniency, and vaccines first, as what was also done initially with COVID testing, and I can sense that blood is boiling within underserved communities around the world. There is a deep seated inequality in this world right now, and until it's addressed, we're all at risk for societal decline.
There is a deep chasm of discontent within me concerning corruption I've observed in 2020. A feeling of "me first" is prevalent in so many that are tasked within vital roles of serving the public. This sentiment is disastrously harmful, and it should have been a sign for who we choose to lead us. This issue is exactly why politics were never meant to be conducted by rich and famous personalities; people who are obsessed with profit and popularity historically have become the worst leaders throughout history. The same problems occur when leaders with little experience and education assume vital leadership roles.
While the world was under siege, a few companies made record profits as well, from capitalizing on economic chaos. Many of these companies and individuals were already quite wealthy by any standard prior to the pandemic. While many watched civil unrest outside of their doors, the wealthy huddled in luxurious and well-stocked houses, immune to everything except for coronavirus, which took lives indiscriminately. This is a never ending cycle of ignorance for even some we think are very smart individuals. We must understand that no amount of money can insulate any of us from a society on the brink of chaos. No wall can protect individuals from desperate people. Harmony is preserved through providing equal opportunity, setting standards through leading, and by ensuring success and life for everyone in the real world.
Government services failed taxpayers royally this year, police enforcement declined in many cases, crime and drug abuse surged, many people lost jobs and now are in suspense not knowing if eviction will come. Stimulus payments were very small for many Americans while the cost of living increased dramatically. It's become very apparent how life is now at the mercy of leadership that has vacated it's post and lost touch with understanding their purpose and responsibility. We have even found cases where leaders have been caught red-handed, lining their own pockets based off of economic and social chaos, rather than doing their jobs, thinking that will protect them from threats serious social decline.
It sounds like the plot of a movie that leads to the end of the world. We have been living it. Leadership should own responsibility for the wide-spread embarrassing failure.
In America, workers pay taxes by law, we are required to at the penalty of jail. This principle is the very basis of the country, as all government services are based upon the funding that tax revenue provides. It's wrong to look at government action that ensures the well being and safety as a bail out, yet corporations are not people.In many cases, some of the wealthiest individuals and companies within the country DO NOT pay taxes at a fair rate in comparison to the majority of other US citizens. In addition to the wealth inequality crisis in America, fixing tax inequality is one of the best steps towards improving overall quality of life within the country. Though many talk incessantly about fixing these issues, they often fail at committing to action that create positive change. The fundamental measures of fairness that were put in place were ignored and wilfully dismantled in the course of operations by leadership in 2020, and now we're here in history. The primary basis of law is that it must be obeyed by all, and supported by all, this is why failures in accountability should be thoroughly addressed in years to come.
There is a special duty in having a leadership role. Leaders should be individuals that are proven to be exemplary, accountable, educated, proven, thoughtful, experienced, considerate, and above all HONORABLE. The more we accept compromise on these core leadership values, the more we will suffer from dereliction of duty, uncertainty in our futures, and societal decline.
As I read news on the latest round of economic stimulus, which is estimated to cost around $1.4 trillion dollars in tax payer funds, my blood boils. Especially when you consider that US citizens are only estimated to receive deposits of $600 to tide them through a long period within this perpetually uncertain experience within the current pandemic. The prior round of stimulus granted individuals deposits of $1,200 and cost US tax payers an estimated $1.2 trillion on top of a surging federal deficit that elected officials always promise to reduce in order to win elections. If you can recall, there were TWO rounds of stimulus prior, as a result of the financial crisis of another out-going Federal administration, estimated at $760 billion EACH. In every case of bailout, a disproportionate amount of funds went to corporations, not individuals. Corporations that are savvy at NOT PAYING taxes, not to the individuals that have no choice. During the civil unrest, companies paid their insurance and boarded up their stores and offices, they didn't hire employees to work as security for their locations. Some of these large corporations also chose to force workers to surrender legal rights of protection against coronavirus to continue operation, and were legally permitted and enabled to do skirt requirements by legislators for reasons yet unseen.
The travesty in the aforementioned bailouts is that those tax dollars are garnered from wages of some of the hardest working Americans, while highly profitable corporations can simply continue their practices of exercising legal action and lobbying to skirt fair tax payment.
There is a limit to how far this toxic leadership ecosystem can be pushed, and we thoroughly breached it in 2020. The "me first" mentality has created a toxic ego within leadership that must be turned back towards "we first". Nothing in this world is self-sufficient. Corporations would not have been bailed out if citizens didn't pay taxes. Vaccines would not be distributed and developed if we didn't have government. We wouldn't have supplies, roads, and food if it wasn't for hard working citizens that also pay taxes. It's all connected. Any attempt to politically divide citizens of America should be considered as bad business based on the very principles our social and political eco system was created (and operated) upon. We need to invite more reasonable people and ideals into our discussions surrounding how to create a truly fair country. We also need to pay close attention to people who are trusted, but always willing to check their values and beliefs. Informed, experienced, and accountable people should rise into leadership roles to counter the horrible curse of anti-intellectualism we have been suffering from for so long, and we should not ever forget the value of empathy and experienced leadership. We also need to reject the toxic brand of negative influence that self-centered, narrowly focused, and self-serving individuals can have on public policy. We have seen the harm that negative attitudes can cause for everyone, including for those that support and push negative values. Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
2021 brings a new opportunity for self introspection within every single leader worldwide. It is long overdue to eliminate the selfish attitude that anyone can "isolate" and "insulate" themselves from the ecosystem they live in with wealth. 2021 is also an opportunity to counter the bad narrative of corruption we encounter so often in our ecosystem right now. We need praise moral, accountable, and responsible leaders and abandon the horrible trend of electing rich and popular individuals that lack empathy and understanding. We need to reject efforts that spread division and ignorance and embrace productive and ethical unity. We need to only support businesses that live up to the good they publish, only supporting ethical companies that pay their fair share of taxes while understanding they're helping to build an ecosystem, not a walled garden for themselves. Accountability for 2021 is a key that we cannot afford to overlook, because it's what we've paid taxes for all these years.
Thoughts on 2020: When Your Tax Dollars Were Not At Work
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