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Ebola Miscues Demonstrate to Obama a Weakness of Government

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 19, 2014

The New York Times reported that President Obama is fuming about the governmental missteps relating to the growing Ebola problem in the United States.  According to the Times, during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the President was visibly upset with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who showed an inability to get its hands around the Ebola threat.  This came to a boil when a second healthcare worker not only came down with Ebola, but traveled on commercial airline while potentially contagious.

Obama is learning firsthand of governmental incompetence and its inability to resolve complex managerial problems.  However, instead of realizing that special interest and the bloated size of government is the center of the problem, Obama added yet another layer of management, naming Ron Klain the Ebola Czar. In addition, Klain is a political operative and former aide to VP Joe Biden.

While Obama expressed frustration with the government’s response to the Ebola problem in his cabinet meeting, he offered a different tune to the public stating: “We have the infrastructure in place to respond safely and effectively.”  This dichotomy demonstrated yet another failing of government; the truth.

President Obama is correct that the Ebola miscues by government is in part caused by poor management.  Unlike in the private sector, those responsible for these miscues are still on the job collecting full salaries.  Instead of adding yet another layer of management, the President should have fired the incompetents and streamlined the managerial process.  The President’s misguided approach shows yet another reason why government fail so often: lack of accountability.

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