Thursday, October 19, 2017

Presidential Tuna!

If nothing else, Donald Trump is a businessman. This characterization doesn't presuppose he is a good businessman. As a businessman, he sees all aspects of society, economy and human endeavor as a cost-benefit couplet. If the benefits outweigh the costs then there is cause to look further into an acquisition. If not, he is disinterested and shows it in every fiber of his being.

Exemplary of this attitude, Puerto Rico, after being devastated by Hurricane Maria he took a lackadaisical approach to mustering and delivering food, water, medical supplies and personnel to the island to stem the coming humanitarian crises.

Meteorologists looked at the satellite imagery and combined data from multiple sources and determined Puerto Rico was in for the thrashing of its existence. They knew it was coming for a week or longer. Maria blew in and blew out as hurricanes are wont to do. The initial damage was total electrical grid failure, no water purification systems on line, food and medical supplies disrupted, hospitals left without power FOR WEEKS AFTERWARDS. Somewhere around a dozen people initially lost their lives. As numerous as they were, the situation was only going to grow worse. It did.

As it has become abundantly clear, businessman Donald Trump was not interested in "buying." The cost exceeded his threshold for cost-benefit analysis. As with all natural disasters, the initial cost in lives and lost health is the smaller portion. In the weeks since Maria moved on, the response of the American government to a population of its citizenry has been abysmal. The people who are there on the ground are doing the best they can with the supplies and transport systems available. Even Jesus would have needed 3300 loaves and 1320 fish to feed the 3.3 million. That is every day.

The language Trump uses in indicative of his attitude. Texas and Florida apparently have a far higher value to the businessman than does Puerto Rico. After all Texas and Florida are full-fledged "States" while Puerto Rico is a mere "possession." Says the President of all three regions, we will stay with Texas and Florida as long as it takes after the Harvey hurricane. Then about Puerto Rico after Maria, FEMA cannot stay there indefinitely. While the second statement is technically accurate, FEMA will not be the agency to rebuild the destroyed property and infrastructure. The E in FEMA stands for Emergency.  After the regions are stabilized and people are not dying of hunger, dehydration, dysentery, and for want of shelter and medical care, then this great economy of ours is supposed to step in and work tirelessly to make whole the lives and property which were damaged.

There is no convincing this man he has an obligation to every citizen and resident of this country, not just the ones who praise his name.

Along the same lines as hurricane relief is the military itself. Military contractors who make weapons and supply ancillary services are of great value to this President. After all they are owned and operated by businessmen too. The shareholders and management are paramount. Labor, on the other hand is not.

A soldier is an "asset". He or she can perform tasks which are in accordance with the desired of the businessmen they protect. Veterans are "liabilities." Like tanks with the turret blown off or a Humvee hit by a RPG, they have served their purpose and need to be marginalized or else the cost-benefit ratio becomes skewed and the purchase obviated. The tank and Humvee can be written off as a loss only to be replaced in the next Trillion Dollar military budget. The veterans who lost limbs, eyes and faces will continue to cost the budget every year. PTSD and chemical exposures continue to be denied by the brass due to the open-ended cost associated with such an admission of culpability for treatment.

This brings us all the way to you and me. A supporter of Donald Trump has a dollar value whereas the voters who voted against him or did not vote hold no value for his businessman thinking. You may support that businessman, but do not expect he will support you.

This contention can be seen in every directive he makes and every fact he fakes. Seniors are too expensive for Medicare. Social Security is too expensive to maintain. You do not have an income great enough to not pay taxes. Your roads and bridges do not matter. Maintaining your health is a liability while resource extraction enterprises which make you ill are assets. Your pre-existing condition makes you unworthy of treatment. It is neigh impossible to name a single effort of the current Administration which benefits anyone with less than $1 million annual income. You, we, are not part of the business model the President seeks to follow to make America great.