Why The Federal Government Struggles To Fight Ebola

This article on Politico.com says that Americans are not confident in their government’s ability to response to the Ebola scare.

Truth is, the U.S. has never done “government” well–as in, nationwide government action. It wasn’t created to do that. We’re not China. So we struggle with nationwide efforts such as immigration, with helping after Hurricane Katrina, and now with Ebola. That’s the sacrifice you make when you have a looser system.

The benefits shouldn’t be ignored. Less control at the top means more freedom below. We are fifty fairly independent states and 350M independent, empowered people. In the hands of Americans, this freedom has spurred more wealth, innovation, and artistic creativity than anywhere else.

But yes, the Federal government will struggle with blanket policy–education, health care, natural disasters.

This is an institutional issue. So of course Bush will “drop the ball” on Katrina and Obama will “bungle” the Ebola response. The Federal Government wasn’t made to do these things.

Actually, the U.S. used to excel in all these areas. Hurricane responses were more local and less funded, but quicker and more effective. And education and healthcare were the best in the world in decades past with a similar formula.

Maybe the systems that worked so well for Americans before are outdated. Or maybe America has lost its way and forgot what made it rise to the top. Maybe this is a new middle ground America is finding–not China, not the U.S. of old, but a new America balancing both freedom at the ground level but also an effective government at the top when a situation warrants. Can you have both? Historically, it’s been a teeter-totter. You can have a responsive, efficient national government. But then you also have a compliant and less-empowered population. But who knows? Maybe today things are different.

Either way, the expectations are there for the federal government to act and act well. We’ll see how it plays out.

I would just want to convey to Americans that the government will struggle in these areas, so be patient.

What say you?