Knock Knock — It’s Coronavirus

Coronavirus is knocking on the door and coming in whether or not we’re ready. And that’s the key…whether or not we’re ready. One big takeaway I’ve seen early on is how unprepared most Americans are to survive a pandemic like this. The government bailouts are highly praised, and we wait on them in order to put food on our tables or keep the lights on. Don’t get me wrong, these bailouts have helped a lot of families across the country. But in the midst of the appreciation, we can lose sight of the core problem that caused the need to vote, pray and hope for these bailouts in the first place. We’re too busy thanking the people for “saving” us, from a situation they had a role in. It’s a bit of a jedi mind trick.

Photo by Tobias Cornille on Unsplash

BAIL ME OUT!

What does it mean to bail someone out? When someone has to be bailed out, it means at some point that person made either one big, or a series, of bad decisions, and they need a “get out of jail free” card. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of bailing someone out of jail, you know exactly what this is like. So while these government bailouts are short term fixes to getting money into pockets to buy food, supplies, and keep the lights on, there’s a bigger problem at the root. Somewhere…someone (or multiple people)…in this big machine we call a government, made some bad decisions.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just push a button, print a bunch of money, and make it rain on America thinking we solved all of their current problems? Well that’s exactly what happened. I do want to caveat, that I don’t want to disregard select local and state governments who have made tremendous contributions and decisions that have saved thousands of lives. This is not about you. Your quick decision making is the reason that we are not worse off in many states.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The US Government recently passed a $2 trillion Coronavirus bailout that would go toward providing an additional sum of money to most US families. What a nice gesture. Here we are, the average hard working family of America who works night and day to make a fair pay, just to survive and pay for expensive “luxuries” like healthcare, clothes and food.

The idea that the government can play hero, and print $2 trillion at the push of a button, belittles the hard work of every American in this country, and overshadows the fact that the US needs this bailout because they did not adequately invest in the American people to prepare them for times like this. But we don’t see this right now, because we’re all in need of the rescue. It’s a sick cycle. The same body of representatives that are supposed to be vouching for us everyday, has families living pay check to pay check, and knows those families could not survive a month if that income were to stop. The government knows that! They keep you right where they want you, not too rich, but not too poor, just surviving. It’s a perfect middle-ground where you can thank them for the opportunities, but they don’t give you too much where you won’t need them anymore.

They keep you right where they want you, not too rich, but not too poor, just surviving.

Once someone is bailed out, its usually followed by a lecture about how the person who needed bailing out had such terrible judgement, needs to make better decisions, and if they continue down this path it wont lead to anything good. While the person who was just bailed out will nod and agree and promise it wont happen again.

In other words, accountability is assigned. It wouldn’t surprise me if similar conversations happen at a much larger scale when national bail outs happen, only the accountability doesn’t stick. The true problem here is the government does not provide the right support and systems for average Americans on a day to day basis, so that when disaster strikes, we are all ready. Maybe not equally ready, but proportionally ready to our individual lifestyles and circumstances. It’s understandable there is always going to be a recovery period time, but I think it’s safe to say we can be better prepared than we are.

What Are Your Rights?

Every American has the right to have enough money in their bank account to withstand a month of no income, with or without a disaster. No one should be worried about the roof over their head or the food on their table, when we’re in the midst of a pandemic. I’m not getting political and talking about initiatives to simply give people money as handouts. I’m talking about access to resources that exist today and making them available to the broader population. Teaching individuals about their relationships with money, how to live within your means, investing strategies. Enabling the population. Being able to live with a sense of preparedness, instead of a sense of survival-ness. Because believe it or not…most American’s aren’t looking for a handout. That’s not what this country was built on.

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

If there were more robust investments made in access to education, pushing for equality on all fronts, access to key resources, then the government would not have to play “hero”. It’s one less thing they’d have to do which I think could be appreciated given how busy they are. I haven’t lost faith yet in our leadership. Let’s be proactive and less reactive, and let’s be the leader for change. For those of us who are lucky enough, the Coronavirus has given us a chance to slow down and re-evaluate life. To look at what is valued, appreciated, and what needs to change. Let’s not miss a historic chance to change for the better. Help a neighbor, help a friend, help us all be better prepared. Disaster is inevitable, so we might as well be as prepared as we can to stand together and manage through the times when they come. This starts from the top down, so it’s your move United States Government.

This post was previously published on Change Becomes You and is republished here with permission from the author.

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