What is holding America back?
We are the wealthiest nation on earth.
Our advances in science and technology are second to none.
We are the birthplace of democracy and symbol of freedom.
American Corporations and learning institutions have attracted millions of people from around the globe.
We have always been the envy of the world.
Yet in 2020, the United States experienced an internal hemorrhage that devastated our economic, political, physical and moral underpinnings. The damage to the nation's psyche has been worse than in any war, depression, famine or natural disasters.
In my opinion, what caused this sudden collapse is a collision of four crises which have been overlooked or underestimated for a long time.
First, there is the "Creeping Crisis" of racial injustice.
Many Americans are under the illusion that the Civil Rights laws of the 1960's had solved the problem of racial discrimination. When Barak Obama was elected President of the United States in 2008, we all felt vindicated. In reality, the reparation was only skin (color) deep.
Divisions and mistrusts remained uncovered and latent.
Second, America has been influenced by the "Slow Burn Crisis" of Extremism. America has been taken over by politics of the extremes, both in the left and the right.
Consensus, Compromise and Conciliation have become obsolete words.
Confrontation is the name of the game.
Third, the print and visual news media, instead of exposing this contest, have become subjective participants. The result has been disastrous for a functioning democracy.
Finally, Covid-19 exposed America's fourth crisis of structural inability to deal with national emergencies.
Federal, State, Local and Quasi-governmental agencies fail to deliver services efficiently to the population. Many of them are too big to be accountable.
On January 9, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a mysterious Coronavirus-Related Pneumonia in Wuhan, China.
On January 21, 2020, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) confirmed first U.S. Coronavirus case in America. What started as a curious news item gradually started unravelling.
Total death toll in the United States exploded from 3 on March 2, 2020 to 449,020 by February 4, 2021. The disease, peoples misunderstanding of this malady and inadequate governmental response resulted in a crisis of monumental proportion.
Adding insult to the injury, America was going through a tremendous upheaval caused by racial tensions, divisive Presidential election, and general polarization of the population.
Most activities came to a standstill. Social distancing, quarantines, stay at home orders, school closings, remote working, meeting and learning all became commonplace.
At that time, I heard a TV host ask his audience,
"What did you learn during the pandemic of 2020? What skills did you add during the pandemic of 2020?
I decided then to do something I have never done before.
I started my own "Blog" called "Murthy's Musings".
In this Blog, I wrote my thoughts, opinions and view points on various events.
My goal was to be objective, non-partisan and original in my thinking.
I also tried to bring a broader historic perspective of events.
For the last eight months I added over 30 Posts in this Blog.
These posts were shared in the social media like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Responses to these posts have been very encouraging.
People who viewed and reacted to my pieces came from the U.S., United Kingdom, India, Europe, Asia and Australia. Although the majority of the readers were in businesses of different kind, some of them were in Academia and a few were students.
Many people don't admit that these crises even exist, or as widely present as portrayed in my posts.
After all, the first step in addressing any problem is admitting that there is one.
Once acknowledged, one needs to understand the historical underpinnings and broader perspective on why they are happening.
That is why I plan to publish my articles in the form of a book to be released later this year.
I will be grateful if you the reader can please respond to this post
answering specifically the following questions:
1) Do you agree that these 4 crises exist in America?
2) If you do, what do you think can be done to solve them?
I will be glad to include conclusions of these responses in my upcoming book.