Fun on Friday: These Are the People Who Are Going to Save Us?
As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, a lot of people seem to be putting an awful lot of faith in government officials to save them. I don’t know. That just seems less than ideal to me.
But it’s definitely a thing. People are genuflecting at the altar of government and embracing the sacrament of social distancing to the point that they’re cheering the complete shutdown of the entire US economy.
I know people in Kentucky who actually plan their evening’s around Gov. Andy Beshear’s press conferences. They call it Andy Hour. There was even an article in Salon praising him as the “clean-cut sex symbol for the coronavirus age.”
Then there are the tattle-tales. People are snitching on their neighbors who dare *gasp* go to the store.
All of this is based on what people are being told by the government – is if it has ever been a trustworthy source of information. Politicians lie constantly. We all know this. And yet for some reason, we believe them on this.
I’ll be honest; I’m not sure what to think about coronavirus itself. I fall somewhere between the extremes of “it’s just the flu” and “we’re all gonna die.” That said, I’m always skeptical of what the government tells me.
I already told you. Because they lie!
On top of that, the story keeps changing. Remember back when they told us that it was pointless to wear a mask? That was way back in the deep dark history of three weeks ago. Now, we’re all supposed to wear masks.
When I was initially questioning the wisdom of shutting down the entire world for the virus, a friend of mine smugly told me, “Well, I’m relying on the experts at the CDC! They are scientists and dedicated public servants.”
Oh. You mean the same experts who can’t decide whether or not I need a mask? The same experts who did nothing as the virus was spreading across China. (Ironically, my friend acknowledged this failure, but remained resolute in her belief that they were “getting it right now.”)
But if nothing else convinces you that maybe we shouldn’t be depending on government to save us this should.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy put out a call for volunteers who know how to code in COBOL. COBOL is a programming language developed in 1959. It was beginning to become obsolete in the 80s.
So, why does New Jersey need COBOL programmers in 2020? Because a number of the state’s systems run on old COBOL mainframes, including the state’s unemployment system.
Did I mention COBOL was becoming obsolete in the 80s? You remember the 80s, right? (Some of you undoubtedly don’t.) Ronald Reagan, Pac Man, skinny ties. Oh, and Commodore 64 computers.
That’s how New Jersey is running its unemployment system.
“Literally, we have systems that are 40-plus-years-old,” New Jersey Gov. Murphy said. “There’ll be lots of postmortems and one of them on our list will be how did we get here where we literally needed COBOL programmers?”
How did “we” get here? I’ll tell you how. You clowns running the government didn’t do anything for about 30 years!
And New Jersey isn’t alone.
According to CNN, Connecticut also admitted that it’s struggling to process the large volume of unemployment claims with its “40-year-old system comprised of a COBOL mainframe and four other separate systems.”
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly told CNN the state’s Departments of Labor was in the process of modernizing from COBOL but then the virus interfered. “So they’re operating on really old stuff,” she said.
But, hey, kudos to Kansas for working on it before COVID-19. You might have been a couple of decades too late, but you weren’t as too late as New Jersey!
The sad thing is some politician will make a name for her or himself fixing this egregious mess! If this were a private business, people would demand it be shut down. Or regulated by the government. But when government screws things up, somebody gets to be a hero because government fixed it.
And these are the people we’re counting on to save us.
We should probably stop doing that.
Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.
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