News — At The Edge — 4/18

Doc Huston
5 min readApr 18, 2020

Even in the country’s darkest days slimy politicians grifters, cronies and corruptionfavor the wealthy over the rest of us.


When you drown the government in the bathtub, people die —

“[After] 2001 terrorist attacks…came the tea party, the anti-government conservatism that infected the Republican Party…[fostered] a government that couldn’t produce a rudimentary test for coronavirus…contain the pandemic…produce enough ventilators…face masks and gowns for health-care workers….

It is not an exaggeration to say that this ideology caused the current debacle with a deliberate strategy to sabotage government….

Between 2011 and 2018, nondefense discretionary spending fell by 12 percent — and, with it…Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants to state and local public health departments were cut by a third and the Hospital Preparedness Program cut in half, 60,000 jobs were lost at state and local public health departments, and [laboratories]….

Now Americans are paying for this with their lives — and their livelihoods….

South Korea has had 4 deaths per 1 million people, Singapore 1 death per million, and Taiwan 0.2 deaths per million. The United States: 39 per million — and rising fast.

To have mitigated the virus the way…would have required spending…$4.5 billion a year on public health….Instead, we’re spending trillions to rescue the economy….

2014, NIH chief…said there likely would have been a vaccine for the Ebola outbreak if not for a 10 percent cut in NIH funding[as] Republicans jeered.

In 2016…Obama requested $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus, Republicans…sat on the request for seven months and then cut it nearly in half.

Since then, Trump has proposed cuts to the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control…so severe…Republicans rejected them.

And last month they fed the ‘beast’ a $2.2 trillion feast to fight the pandemic. Now they know: When you drown the government…people die.


Nebraska Getting $300G in Federal Money for Each Coronavirus Case While NY Gets $12G —

“[How] Washington has handled the bailout ‘could jeopardize the very existence’ of…largest public health systems…[with] a one-size-fits-all approach to distributing the first $30 billion in emergency grants…[using] historical share of revenue from…Medicare program for seniors — not according to their coronavirus burden.

That method is ‘woefully insufficient to address the financial challenges facing hospitals…[especially] in ‘hot spot’ areas such as the New York City region…

[As result] Minnesota, Nebraska and Montana…touched relatively lightly…[get] $300,000 per reported COVID-19 case…[versus] New York, the worst-hit…only $12,000 per case. Florida is getting $132,000 per case….

’[It’s] weird that they wouldn’t just target areas…where the surge has been…[so] method ‘could tilt the playing field’ against hospitals whose patients are largely uninsured or covered by the Medicaid program for low-income patients…[and] hospitals with a big…Medicare Advantage, won’t be credited for that.”


Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds —

“80 percent of the [tax] benefits…[inserted] by Senate Republicans, temporarily suspends a limitation…’pass-through’ entities can deduct to reduce their tax liability….

About 82 percent of the benefits of the policy go to about 43,000 taxpayers who earn more than $1 million annually.

Less than 3 percent of the benefits go to Americans earning less than $100,000 a year….

Hedge-fund investors and owners of real estate businesses are ‘far and away’ the two prime beneficiaries of the change…[says] a tax expert at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.”


Biggest companies pay the least tax, leaving society more vulnerable to pandemic —

“After analyzing data from several decades, researchers warn of American corporate giants paying less tax than smaller companies, yet being less effective businesses….

[From] 2015–18, their effective tax rate was…13% lower compared to smaller corporations…[and] same goes for foreign taxes, with…largest corporations paying less than the small ones….

Huge corporations give a lot of their profits to shareholders, but the top 10% of US households own 84% of all corporate shares….

Despite their advantage…Big Pharma companies failed to address the COVID crisis…[begging] question: should we keep easing their taxes?”


Robots Welcome to Take Over, as Pandemic Accelerates Automation —

“[The] unease about losing jobs to machines could dissipate as people focus on…social-distancing…[and] benefits of restructuring workplaces…[to] ‘be automated’….

Retailers insist the robots are augmenting the work of employees…[but] as the panic…sales decline in the recession…expected to follow, companies…may no longer have a need for [workers]…[and] use mobile payment services.

[Also] fully automated stores, such as Amazon Go…are likely to become a more viable option for retailers…with companies hurting for cash….

People become more expensive as companies’ revenues decline…substantially depress rehiring.’”


America won the cold war. What went wrong? —

“The end of the cold war established America as the most powerful country… and its governing philosophy seemingly had no rival…[yet] struggled either to prevail against illiterate tribesmen and tinpot dictators or…newly assertive Russia and a rising China….

[The] international order…[U.S.] constructed depends on legitimacy…[of its] values…[yet] Trump and his officials have sought to dismantle [it]….

At its best, the West has stood for capitalism, science, the Enlightenment, the rule of law and human rights…[but] long ago came to be seen as a source of hypocrisy and racism…[and] conflicts that herd people under falsely unifying rubrics like ‘American’, ‘the West’ or ‘Islam’….

As China and Russia challenge democracy…the idea of the West…may be doomed….

[Still] military, political and commercial elites came to believe American motives were beyond reproach, and that their world-view was sure to prevail….

Globalization was meant to create wealth, but…[result was] inequality; military dominance sucking the country into never-ending wars that sacrificed the children of lower-income families;…a selfish, atomized society; and the supremacy of the presidency became a recipe for voters’ disappointment.”

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May you live long and prosper!
Doc Huston



Doc Huston

Consultant & Speaker on future nexus of technology-economics-politics, PhD Nested System Evolution, MA Alternative Futures, Patent Holder —