Thursday, June 4, 2020

Heartbreak in America

Update 6-5-20:
“The phony protesters in Lafayette park were not peaceful and are not real. They are terrorists using idle hate-filled students to burn and destroy.”

--Letter from Trump attorney John Dowd which President Trump retweeted on 6-5-20

Civil rights groups are suing the Trump administration for its violent actions against peaceful protesters.  That explains Trump's lawyer's attempts to frame protesters as terrorists. 

America has nearly 1.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases with over 108,000 deaths. 

Jeffrey Epstein's accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell remains free.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Trump's Coronavirus: Bush's Hurricane Katrina, Obama's Deepwater Horizon

Watching President Donald Trump's press conference on his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic brought back memories of prior Presidential failures.  President George W. Bush had Hurricane Katrina and President Barack Obama had the Deepwater Horizon (Gulf Oil Spew) disaster.

The Trump administration's lack of testing is akin to Obama's understating the amount of oil spewing from the ocean floor and allowing BP to sink the oil.

People have entered the United States from global hotspots for the last month and a half.  Chinese people from Wuhan took flights to Thailand and then to the U.S.  How many of these travelers had the disease and were able to spread it within their American communities? 

Trump wants to control the narrative and is having Vice President Mike Pence head up the response, as well as vet all comments from government experts. A public health expert said the move was analogous to "putting an arson in charge of a fire department."

Trump added Foreclosure King and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow to the Coronavirus Task Force.

President Trump's press conference was about image management, not public health preparation.  I pray for the American people as we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Update 2-29-20:  A U.S. patient died from the coronavirus the day after President Trump called the outbreak a new hoax by Democrats.  Problems with the CDC test for coronavirus turned the administration's de facto policy into "Don't test, don't tell."

Update 3-1-20:  Malfunctioning coronavirus tests have frustrated public health labs and delayed outbreak monitoring. 

Update 3-3-20:  CDC no longer reports the number of COVID-19 tests administered on its website.  FOX News reported Trump ordered an investigation in faulty test kits as part of his administration's perfect response to coronavirus pandemic. An ER physician stressed the importance of testing to address the pandemic and expressed frustration at the lack of available tests.

Update 3-5-20:  WHO advises countries to act aggressively to stop spread of virus.  CNBC article stated "scientists currently do not believe that asymptomatic transmission is a “major driver” of the disease."  President Trump says people will go to work with the disease in direct opposition to CDC recommendations that people with illness stay home. Former White House Press Chief Anthony Scaramucci said the coronavirus could be Trump's Katrina.

Update 3-6-20:  Trump said this morning "“It will go away,” he said. “We have very low numbers [of confirmed cases] compared to many countries throughout the world, our numbers are lower than almost anyone...deaths, is it 11?...This came unexpectedly, it came out of China, we closed it down, we stopped it, it was a very early shut down,” he added.  Time reported "President Donald Trump’s visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has been called off because of concerns that a staff member may have been infected by the coronavirus."  That visit did happen after the test came back negative.

The Trump Coronavirus team refused to answer a question on uninsured Americans getting tested for the coronavirus.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed China in a CNBC interview "That’s not the way infectious disease doctors tell me it should work. It’s not the way America works with transparency and openness and the sharing of the information that needs to take place."

Update 3-7-20:  America's foot dragging on testing remains.  "There has been an astonishing degree of hubris, incompetence and a complete lack of human concern or care."  President Trump did congratulate himself on his interest and understanding of the science during a visit to the CDC.  His administration's "no bad news" management of crisis has fallen way short.  GM management rode such a strategy on the brake failure crisis, which also resulted in the unnecessary loss of human life.

Update 3-13-20:  On Friday the 13th testing patients for coronavirus remains a problem for primary care physicians as test kits remain unavailable.  This is 48 days after Chris Martensen at Peak Prosperity encouraged all countries of the world to activate and scale up emergency systems, communicate with the public on how to stay safe, and test & treat everyone at risk.  President Trump held a news conference today on the coronavirus and said "Yeah, no, I don’t take responsibility at all, because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time,” he said. “It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about."

Update 3-14-20:  Harris County switched coronavirus testing labs as Houston is experiencing community spread.   Harris County will use Labcorp to test patients for the disease, "circumvent the government laboratory’s more rigid criteria."

Update 3-15-20:   "The worsening situation has been acknowledged even by allies of the president. “We probably lost the chance to have an outcome like South Korea,” said Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration chief under Trump, referencing a country that has helped curb the outbreak by testing nearly 20,000 people every day. “We must do everything to avert the tragic suffering being borne by Italy.”

Update 3-22-20:   President George W. Bush had the Hurricane Pam drill prior to Katrina swamping New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.  President Trump had a pandemic drill in October 2019.  Four days ago Bloomberg reported "What’s happening now is much worse in the sense that the U.S. response has been even more ineffective than we would have assumed,” said Sam Brannen, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ International Security Program, who helped lead the exercise. “The president undercutting his own officials and his messaging -- I’m stunned by the scale of it.”

Update 3-25-20:   A strange new meme opened up for seniors to work to keep the economy going so young people will have an America to enjoy.  This is shocking from the family values party, especially as seniors make up a small portion of the workforce.  Retirees may have to go back to work given huge declines in their 401k and IRA accounts.
"The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!"-- Donald J. Trump, March 25, 2020
This should be his order of business:

Update 3-26-20:  The Trump team dusted off the unprecedented word W. used after Hurricane Katrina.  Trump mobilized it to defend his early denial, missteps and failure to competently respond to a global health menace. FP chronicled Trump's coronavirus failures to date.

Update 3-28-20:  Yes, the responsibility is his and his team's.

Update 4-4-20:   Trump's early inaction has been costly for the U.S.  “You can have the best system in the world, but if you give the virus an eight-week head start it will eat you alive.”

Three weeks ago, Pueyo reminds us, the US had fewer than 1,000 confirmed cases at a time when Trump was telling the world: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, I’m not. No, we’ve done a great job.”

Now it stands at almost a quarter of a million. “This is what exponential growth looks like,” he said.

The number of U.S. cases is nearly 280,000.  That will double in a matter of days and within 8-9 days exponential growth would add a zero the the back of that figure (from 280.000 to 2.8 million).

Nero fiddled while Rome burned.  Bush strummed a guitar during Hurricane Katrina.  Trump hunched over COVID-19, an exponential health threat.

Update 4-7-20:  White House Economic Advisor Peter Navarro warned Trump on January 29th that a pandemic could kill up to 1 to 2 million Americans.  He reiterated the alarm in late February.  So it was not unimaginable.  Instead of acting Trump hunched.

Update 4-8-20:  Politico reported President Trump broke the agencies charged with protecting Americans from a pandemic like COVID-19.

Update 4-10-20:  For Trump image is everything.  Truth tellers within his administration pay the price, sometimes with their careers.  Trump's incompetence raised the death toll in our country.  He takes no, as in zero responsibility for that.

Update 4-12-20:  NYT reported, "Dozens of interviews with current and former officials and a review of emails and other records revealed many previously unreported details and a fuller picture of the roots and extent of his halting response as the deadly virus spread."  Guardian added, "The Trump administration’s self-centred, haphazard, and tone-deaf response [to Covid-19] will end up costing Americans trillions of dollars and thousands of otherwise preventable deaths,” wrote Stephen Walt, professor of international relations at Harvard.

Update 4-13-20:  Real Deal reported the death of Stanley Chera due to complications from the coronavirus.  Chera was a good friend of President Trump.   The coronavirus does not see wealth. power of political connections.  Trump fumed about reports that social distancing had been advised in late February but were not implemented until mid-March.

Update 4-15-20:  Trump had no answer for why there were no accomplishments in February in his video defending his response to the coronavirus.  Trump personally attacked the reporter.  The next day the President blamed the World Health Organization which deserves scrutiny but not scapegoating.  Cutting funding in the midst of a global pandemic may come back to haunt Donald Trump.

Update 4-17-20:  Trump encouraged his followers to get out and protest stay at home orders in three Blue states.   Were any super spreaders at the rallies?  A lack of testing means asymptomatic COVID-19 cases could have attended.  The U.S. remains far from the gold standard pandemic approach.  Nero fiddled, Bush strummed, Trump hunched.

Update 4-18-20:   "Overriding all else is the spectacle of a President, duly elected by the American people, who is a malicious psychopath with not a single redeeming trait. A physical, intellectual and emotional spectre who would defy our imaginative powers were he not on display before our eyes. He has gathered around him a witch’s coven of scoundrels, crooks and crackpots as bereft of mind and ethics as he is. They also are inveterate liars; Trump himself is a congenital liar since clinical narcissism is inborn. Yet, we refer to this motley assemblage as an ‘administration’ – in our impulse to ‘normalize’ the abominable. No dry bill of particulars is necessary, nor could it do justice, to the squalid theater we see played out before us on a daily basis. This man, at this moment, is viewed favorably by 46% of the public. That reality eclipses everything else."  Trump followers have three scapegoats, the World Health Organization, Bill Gates and Dr. Anthony Fauci.  President Trump's latest hunch is America is ready to reopen.  Ten years on the Gulf Coast is yet to recover from the BP Oil Spew, Obama's albatross.

Update 4-20-20:   President Trump's two faces could be seen in his exhortations to liberate states with Democratic governors.  He did so the day after introducing a framework for governors to reopen America.  The Vice President defended El Jefe on Meet the Press.

Update 4-21-20:  Conditions exist for another Gulf Oil Spew.  Experts say nothing has changed.

Update 4-22-20:  Economist Joseph Stiglitz believes Trump's poor coronavirus response will usher in another Great Depression.  El Jefe's lack of empathy has been noted as he rushes to reopen the economy.

Update 4-23-20:  President Trump suggested using UV light and chemical disinfectants to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients, horrifying medical experts. More Trump hunching, this time medical.

Update 4-25-20:   After proposing environmental surface cleaning practices by used internally on humans to kill the coronavirus President Trump took bold action and declared his suggestions were "sarcasm."    His attempted walk back occurred as "the US death toll topped 50,000 and the grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus cases grows nearer."  It was also the highest number of new cases in the United States.  There were, 36,200 new positives on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Update 4-26-20:   Two months ago President Trump said “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” The number of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus reached 54,883 this evening.

Update 4-27-20:  The Trump White House  officially canceled today's planned Covid-19 coronavirus task force press briefing scheduled for 5:00 pm EST.  A news report indicated the White House was planning to shift to events focused on the economy rather than the public health crisis in the coming days.  Trump canceled his own show due to poor ratings, yet the need for information from the Federal Coronavirus Task Force remains high.  Trump's punching back hard after his disastrous bleach/UV light comments means sidelining Drs. Fauci and Birx. President Trump held the briefing which can be viewed here.

Update 4-28-20:  WaPo reported President Trump received dozens of coronavirus warnings in January and February via intelligence briefings.

Update 4-29-20:   More than 60,000 people in the U.S. have now officially died from the coronavirus, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows. The increasingly grim figure exceeds predictions President Donald Trump made just last week when he sought to frame a maximum of 50,000 to 60,000 total deaths as a win for America and a validation of his administration’s highly criticized pandemic response.  Trump will not extend social distancing guidelines that kept deaths lower than they would have been.  President Trump's son-in-law called the White House response a "great success story."

Update 4-30-20:  Trump claims his government's handling of the coronavirus has been "spectacular."  Federal guidelines on social distancing are set to expire at midnight tonight.  At least two dozen states will begin reopening with greater social movement and business activity.  There were more than 2,600 new deaths in the US from coronavirus yesterday. Nonpharmaceutical interventions helped bend the curve away from its initial exponential expression.

Those NPIs are about to be relaxed as part of the balance to keep a functioning economy going.

Update 5-1-20:   National Review noted "The Trump administration’s response to the pandemic has been among the greatest leadership failures in all of American history,” Metzl said. “Not only did they feel to heed the warnings, not only did they completely screw up the testing, but the president of the United States was actively spewing deadly misinformation to the American people and denying this crisis as it was playing out.”

Update 5-2-20:  CDC official said: "Limited testing and delayed travel alerts for areas outside China contributed to the jump in US cases starting in late February."  The nation's top public health agency missed opportunities to slow the spread. Trump continues to punch back those who do not back up his spectacular response narrative.  Trump hunches, then punches.

Update 5-3-20:  Katrina's George W. Bush released a message of unity and hope in contrast to Trump's intermittent hunches and combative division.  Bush said "we are not partisan combatants, we are human beings."

Update 5-4-20:  The Cassandra that called for a pandemic called President Trump "the most incompetent, foolhardy buffoon imaginable."  Laurie Garrett believes Americans may show their collective rage as they realize billionaires continue getting richer while tens of millions of common people are wiped out.  Comedian John Oliver assessed the Trump team's month late response.

Update 5-5-20:  President Trump said on 4-30-20:  "The testing has been incredible now, and to a level that nobody's seen... we have tested more than all countries put together."  The next day our local hospital cited problems getting testing supplies.

Mission accomplished the Trump team turns their attention to reopening the economy and Donald Trump's reelection..

Update 5-6-20:  President Trump visited a medical protective mask plant in Arizona and discussed his plans to set doctors aside in a new reopening Task Force.  Trump wore safety glasses but no mask.

Update 5-7-20: The Intercept unmasked Trump's slow PPE response.  The HHS Assistance Secretary for Preparedness and Response sat on his keister.  Eventually Jared Kushner's slim suit crowd intervened with little actual impact. as detailed by a whistleblower.

Update 5-8-20:  President Trump said too much coronavirus testing makes the U.S. look bad, which was the foundation of his "Don't Test, Don't Tell" strategy earlier this year.  Trump will get a daily coronavirus test after a White House valet came down with the disease.  Image trumps substance in our President's All About Me world.  On National Nurses Day Trump said the PPE problem was gone, then squashed a nurse practitioner who said supplies continued to be sporadic.  Every day is President's Day.

Trump's CDC won't release guidelines for employers to operate safely under the coronavirus pandemic.  It does not want to set a regulatory standard for a safe return to work.  “We recognize that there could be a difference of opinion in regards to whether or not an employer is meeting health and safety standards.  It’s basically a reasonable person’s standards.”

Trump said "there will be more death."  One philanthropist believes the poor federal response has caused unnecessary suffering and death.

A member of Vice President Mike Pence's staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Update 5-10-20:  President Obama called Trump's coronavirus response a "chaotic disaster."  Obama sunk the oil during the Gulf Oil Spew and lied about the numbers.  Strikingly similar to Trump's "Don't test, don't tell" for the coronavirus.  Add Obama's free pass to Wall Street and the greed/leverage boys for the financial crisis and one arrives at:  Politicians Red & Blue love PEU.

Update 5-12-20:  A University of Washington epidemiologist said she has been consistently been let down by the federal response and compared the lack of leadership to her work in developing African countries,  She called the leadership vacuum tremendous and compared the lull in the crisis to the eye of a hurricane.  Bad news on the hurricane front as forecasters predict an active hurricane season.

Update 5-13-20:  Fed Chair Jay Powell said 40% of people making less than $40,000/year who were employed in February, lost their job in March.   Trump and some of his aides have begun questioning whether deaths are being over-counted.  Sadly, Trump doesn't lead or follow, but he does get in the way.  Income inequality widened under the pandemic.

Update 5-14-20:  The anti-science Trump team sidelined the Centers for Disease Control in our national health emergency.

Update 5-15-20:  The US has emerged as a global hotspot for the pandemic, a giant petri dish for the Sars-CoV-2 virus. As the death toll rises, Trump’s claims to global leadership have became more far-fetched.  Trump followers are denying the death toll.

Update 5-16-20:  Muzzled for over a week

Update 5-23-20:

Update 5-26-20:  African Americans in Texas are dying of Covid-19 at a rate more than one-third higher than their share of the population.  Trump administration officials have cited health disparities as a reason.

Update 5-27-20:  US COVID-19 deaths pass 100,000. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the United States has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, moving past a sombre milestone even as many states relax mitigation measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The US has recorded more deaths from the disease than any other country in the pandemic, and almost three times as many as the second-ranking country, Britain, which has recorded more than 37,000 Covid-19 deaths. The latest count of fatalities is 100,047. Earlier this month, president Donald Trump said 100,000 deaths would be “horrible”

Update 5-28-20:   As the U.S neared 100,000 deaths President Trump declared war on Twitter.  South Korea COVID-19 deaths total 269 to date while the U.S. is at 100,467 and rising.  A COVID-19 U.S. timeline helps to remind citizens of the actual chronology vs. Punch Back President Trump's.

Update 6-1-20:   President Trump had riot police and National Guard officers remove peaceful protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash bangs so he could walk up to St. John's Episcopal Church and hold up a Bible.

Update 6-2-20:  COVID-19 advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed the President no longer meets with him on tackling the coronavirus.  Their last interaction was May 18th.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Trump's Retaliatory Impulse Knows No Bounds

In the sports arena players are often cited for fouls in retaliation for a previous slight.  Political counter puncher and President Donald Trump's recent actions feel like a product of a retaliatory foul.

I wrote five pieces from 2012 to 2016 on Hunter Biden, Rosemont Realty and Burisma on my PEUReport blog, so I have a history of questioning the value of having someone who failed a drug test for cocaine (and ejected from the Navy reserves) on an international corporate board.

The problem is a retaliatory foul is still a foul.  In Trump's world there is no referee, he makes the rules.  Anything that appears out of bounds is quickly normalized.

A number of dynamics portend a very difficult time as Congress moves forward in its impeachment investigation.

  • Everything either builds up and honors President Trump's greatness or is a personal attack tearing him down.
  • Any errors are a result of inadequate underlings.  All successes are due solely to his magnificent efforts.
  • There is no capability for self reflection, no ability to see parallels across countries, parties, families or individuals.  
  • There is no relationship, only complete and total fealty to President Trump.
When President Trump gets punched he punches back harder.  Things could become ugly very quickly.

Update 12-22-19:  Impeachment passed the House but has not made it to the Senate.  Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci spoke about Trump's penchant for payback and the harm it could do to the Republican Party.

Update 2-6-20:   President Trump punched back hard this morning after the Senate voted to acquit him of all impeachment charges.  "It was evil.  It was corrupt.  It was dirty cops.  It was leakers and liars.... It was a disgrace."  He called them horrible people and stone cold crazy.  Earlier today Trump attacked the faith of House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney at the National Prayer Breakfast, which had a "love your enemies" theme.  Trump only loves compliant followers.

Update 2-9-20:  El Jefe's Senate support ensured Trump's gloating victory rants and subsequent retaliation.

Update 2-16-20:  Trump tweeted ‘When you strike at the King, Emerson famously said, “you must kill him.’  Baker wrote that “a triumphant Mr. Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.  Shortly after Trump quoted the piece, the phrase “you are not a king” began trending in the United States." A U.S. President with absolute power?  That's a king.

Update 2-19-20:  Loyalty is the only qualification needed.  A Trump Twitter Warrior will be acting Director of National Intelligence.  How will America's intelligence organizations be mobilized for retaliation against Trump offenders?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

AOC: New Congressional Low

Anal Opening Congressman.  Louie Gohmert, the new AOC.  Liftoff!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The United States of Chaos

Chaos, the state of  disorder and confusion, feels widespread.  I see it everyday I work in a large healthcare company where private equity owners deform our operations for their financial gain.  Executives termed it "a bumpy year" for employees.  Those lucky enough to keep a job characterize it as chaos. Taking a broader view affordable, accessible healthcare remains a major worry for citizens. 

I hear it on television news stations, regardless of channel and political persuasion.  I observe it from our President, who insists on punching back harder than he believes he's been hit, and Red team officials who dare not give anything but 100% fealty.   Many business executives display the same personality dysfunction as our President.  Real relationship is absent. 

I see it in big data which often uses correlation to make critical decisions, one that impact life and death.  Probability is based on theoretical distributions that often do not exist in our real world.  Algorithms work until they don't i.e. until the fundamental assumptions used in their creation are revealed to be wrong.  Correlation isn't causation. Data does not speak, people do.

Chaos initially referred to a void before it's definition changed.  Our county has a leadership void on both the political and corporate front.  Americans have lower confidence in figures and institutions, according to Gallup.  The vast majority of employees have disengaged from their workplace

Chaos has a number of synonyms:

Disorder grows until a natural system reaches a bifurcation point, the point of maximum instability, after which the system reorders itself.    Is the workplace a natural system?

Self serving elected officials and corporate chiefs can choose to atone for their wrongs on this earth.  We will all face our maker, that is assured.   

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Conservatism No Longer Fiscal

Bloomberg reported:

The U.S. posted its biggest monthly budget deficit on record last month, amid a 20 percent drop in corporate tax revenue and a boost in spending so far this fiscal year.

The budget gap widened to $234 billion in February, compared with a fiscal gap of $215.2 billion a year earlier. That gap surpassed the previous monthly record of $231.7 billion set seven years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

February’s shortfall helped push the deficit for the first five months of the government’s fiscal year to $544.2 billion, up almost 40 percent from the same period the previous year.
Fiscal conservatism is dead as President Trump and Congress gifted corporations and the wealthy.

Corporations have so far this fiscal year paid $59.2 billion, compared to $73.5 billion at the point in 2018, when the tax law was only partially in effect for some corporations. In 2017, however, the year before the law was enacted, corporations had paid $87.4 billion at this point in the year.
 America's billionaire President serves the billionaire class. 

Update 9-17-19:  The U.S. government’s red ink for fiscal 2019 swelled past the $1 trillion mark.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Senator Sasse Cites Loneliness Problem, Misses Abandonment, Manipulation

Senator Ben Sasse blamed American angst on "loneliness" in a Face the Nation segment this morning.  I would use a different term, abandonment.

The former McKinsey consultant seems unaware of the failure of extrinsic motivators.

There's a ton of literature now that shows we're the richest people in the history of humanity. And yet we're some of the most dissatisfied people in the history of humanity. How do you make sense of that?
Pursuit of things outside ourselves can only produce a fleeting impact.  Money does not buy happiness.  Surely ex-consultant Sasse is familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Dr. W. Edwards Deming's teachings on motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic,

Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on any external pressure.
Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards like money and gold stars on the one hand, and coercion and threat of punishment on the other.
America's leaders are responsible for an extreme over-reliance on extrinsic motivators, turning our country into a failure factory.  Education over relies on testing, rating and reward/punishment systems.  The workplace is rife with scarcity systems.  Raises have been nonexistent in years for many workers.  Executives, in collusion with club boards of directors, reap rewards of a feudal king, all on the back of serf-like workers toiling in cubicle farms.

Workers know the consequence for failure to achieve an arbitrary mark or measure, thus they cheat or lie to save their job.  Executives backdated roughly 30% of stock options, supposedly the most pure form of incentive pay.  Executives effectively stole from shareholders to maximize their pay.  Without these extrinsic reward systems distorting behavior there is little incentive to lie, cheat or steal. 

Former GE CEO Jack Welch imposed benchmarking a person's value relative to their co-worker, eliminating the bottom 10% of his employees every year.  Sasse said firings/job eliminations will get worse, much worse.

50 percent of Americans are going to be primarily freelancers in three years.
Translation:  Half of Americans will have been abandoned by their employer, living in the least committed relationship of freelancer.  We'll call you if we need you, pay you as little as possible, and not provide any benefits.  That's abandonment, not loneliness, Mr. Sasse.

Social media turned the intrinsic possibility for real connection into an extrinsic reward system via friend counts and number of likes.   It took a person's personal information and monetized it for business or political purposes.  It became a high tech tool to use people.

Oddly, Host John Dickerson conflated intrinsic/extrinsic motivators with his recent story on Benign Envy.  Envy is one of the seven deadly sins.

Envy is the intense desire to have an item or experience that someone else possesses.
Dickerson's piece tried to paint someone observing another person doing something good as producing envy in the observer.  That envy then motivates the observer to behave similarly to garner the reward.  His story cites "how selfless actions can inspire all of us" and "service often goes hand-in-hand with sacrifice."

An act driven by envy is not selfless, it is about having or possessing.   

Benign Envy -- The desire to be better when we see someone doing something good.  
I would consider this learning or questioning in a manner that fosters intrinsic motivation.  Acting selfless for selfish reasons does not ring true.    

When I watched the Dickerson piece it felt like society was trying to paint lesser human behaviors, like envy and greed, as noble. Weeks later Dickerson and Sasse hit the same chord.

Work is statistically one of the most significant drivers of whether or not people are happy.-- Senator Sasse on Face the Nation 10-14-18
It is easy to deduce work is a significant cause of widespread dissatisfaction cited earlier by the Senator.  Sasse voted for Trump tax cuts late last year.  Those cuts make the "richest people in the history of humanity" even richer.

Sasse did not challenge corporate executives to shore up their relationship with employees with pay/benefit increases or make commitments to maintain jobs.  Corporations, executives and board members took Trump tax cut windfalls and used it to buy back stock, further enriching themselves.  Envy and greed are widespread among leaders in our country.

Senator Ben Sasse delivered his comments as if he were your next door neighbor, your friend two doors down.  Sasse knows Americans are being abandoned by employers and America's political elite.  Together they further victimize the harmed by discounting their situation as mere loneliness.   Leadership greed and envy are killing our workplaces.

Senator Sasse's comments arise from the sick leadership displayed in corporations and the political world, so unbalanced it verges on the unhinged.  It is hard to detect when envy is benign, greed is lauded and freelance is employment.  Some 40% of Americans cannot afford a surprise $400 expense.

Our leaders care not about the people's suffering as no one is home emotionally.  Executives and politicians have reward systems to manipulate on their behalf.

Update 10-16-18:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell piled on with his call to abandon Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security commitments.  How lonely will these people be after they lose healthcare and retirement?  Tax cuts for the rich got no mention in McConnell's analysis.

Update 10-21-18:  Senator Ben Sasse reframed President Trumps's encouragement of violence as "playful."  Our leaders have abandoned civility and honesty.

Update  10-22-2018:  Companies spend huge amounts on stock buybacks but continue to underfund their pension plans.  This is part of the abandonment employees feel.

Update 10-23-18:  Paul Volker noted the preferential treatment given to the billionaire PEU class.

Update 12-26-18:  NYT ran a piece on McKinsey that raises questions about the consulting firm's motivation in bankruptcy cases.

Update 12-28-18:  McKinsey abandoned a Saudi partner who is yet to be released from the Crown Prince's abusive shakedown.

Update 12-30-18:  McKinsey played a role in an international bribery case.

Update 1-4-19:  Trump political appointees will get huge raises while federal workers continue to work with paychecks.  The blame goes to the bottom while the top rakes it in.  It's enough to make a person very lonely angry.

Update 1-13-19:  McKinsey is a sponsor of the 2019 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.  While the average citizen saw little to no economic gains for the last two decades the greed and leverage boys did very well.  Is anyone lonely for a raise?  That would mean someone would have to share....

Update 2-5-19:  NYT reported:  In 2009, McKinsey wrote a report for Purdue Pharma saying that new sales tactics would increase sales of OxyContin by $200 million to $400 million annually and “suggested sales ‘drivers’ based on the ideas that opioids reduce stress and make patients more optimistic and less isolated.”.

Update 3-23-19:   The United States fell to 19th in a world ranking of happiness.  The culprit was not Ben Sasse's loneliness but addiction. Me?  I'm still waiting for trickle down as executives take and take and take but let not one crumb fall from their table.

Update 12-5-19:  Residents of Sidney, Nebraska would cite lack of good paying jobs as their biggest problem.  Fox News Tucker Carlson did a story about their town and how they were undone by a big Sasse donor.  Senator Ben refused to comment.  Loneliness?