Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shit Really Does Roll Downhill

And how Veterans Affairs (VA) came to find itself in such deep shit

Everyone who has ever had to work for a living knows about how shit rolls downhill.  Nothing unfair about it, that’s how gravity works.  And those who actually started the shit have either retired in luxury or moved onto bigger and better possibilities.

Meanwhile Veterans Affairs is left holding the bag.  When the war first started, not only was it supposed to be short, it was to have paid for itself with predicted income from Iraqi oil.  Ten years and $1.7 trillion dollars later, who would’ve thought.  Worse yet, vets are owed an additional $490 billion in promises and benefits that could reach over $6 trillion over the next forty years.  

And our returning warriors, many of whom are wounded, after the longest war in U.S. history, are in dire need of medical attention.  Like that quick war that should have paid for itself, the VA finds itself steeped in all kinds of shit.  No one was prepared for the huge influx.

Usually, someone high up sees a swarm on its way and they meet with other higher ups and write memos to those below them.  No matter what the agency or business, these memos all tend to say the same thing; “Do more with less,” and, “Think outside the box.”  In other words, be creative about it and don’t bother me with the details.  And even when someone has the nerve to disturb them, they may say something like, “More is less.”   After all, they are the boss and must be right, even when what they say is bullshit. 

But the shit doesn’t stop and eventually, people near the bottom, without power or money for a lawyer end up drowning in everyone else’s shit.  In the case of the VA, however, it’s both painful and irritating.  The people near the bottom get blamed, when the politicians, bosses and CEOs, started everything rolling in the first damn place.  The Upside is, while shit rolls downhill, the smell tends to waft upward.

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