Only governments, and not states, are as strong as the confidence they inspire in all members of social institutions, primarily the institution of family. Feeling good about oneself helps them to overcome adversity. Hence, states need confidence-building leadership. In feel-good administrations, communities have the maximum strength to go the extra mile.
In the U.S. state of Texas, extraordinary winter conditions have left people desperate. Energy grids have collapsed, and millions were abandoned without electricity or heat for days. Due to the suspension in supply systems, Texans, who have been struggling to find food and water, have not been feeling good at all.
In an article published on Feb.21, Joel Anderson, who is a writer for Slate magazine, made some observations on the morale of Texans, who are down in the dumps. One woman said, “I always brag about Texas. But I’m embarrassed now,” while many others said they were feeling extremely despondent. In my previous article, I had mentioned how many American writers branded the humanitarian crisis in Texas as a model for a “failed country.” A similar crisis had unfolded 10 years ago, again in Texas. Being America’s richest state in terms of petrol, natural gas and solar and wind energy, the fact that Texas did not safeguard its energy distribution infrastructure against any possible disasters within the past ten years is glaring of course.
As is the case with the Covid-19 pandemic, winter storms hit the poor the hardest. Among these people, Blacks and Hispanics disproportionately bore the brunt. Due to their lack of confidence-building administrations, the plight of Texans, which is only increasing exponentially, was further exacerbated by soaring electricity and gas prices. There is a giant discrepancy between the electricity and gas bills of a Texan family before and after the disaster. Prices have increased more than a hundredfold in some cases. Families with low income, already hit hard by the COVID-19 wave, suffered more than others. While Texans were struggling to survive under harsh conditions, they became victims of the wild energy market, which was unregulated, unchecked, and ran only for profit.
There is no doubt that this situation is ever the more painful for COVID-19 patients who depend on electricity for their treatment. And in the meantime, state authorities tried to pin the blame on renewable energy systems. According to anti-green energy circles, solar and wind power is unreliable. Whereas the real problem lies in the fact that the energy distribution infrastructure is extremely unprepared to deal with possible crises. State officials, who are responsible for these matters that fall under their jurisdiction are always putting the blame on those higher up on the food chain.
Of course, it is not just the Texans, there are other states which are rife with problems stemming from the lack of a “feel-good administration.” The coronavirus pandemic put the shortcomings of America’s political-economic system out in the open for everyone to see. The curtain has fallen from the Gatsbyesque “American Dream” and, and now everyone can see the “naked truth of America.” In the last two decades, death rates from alcohol, drugs, drug overdose and suicide have increased tremendously. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people die from another epidemic called “Deaths of Despair.” Under the reign of COVID-19, these deaths have only increased. Scientists are calling this situation an “epidemic within an epidemic.” The individual armament madness has reached extraordinary numbers in the last two years. Compared to previous years, murders committed in 2020 increased by an average of 30 percent.
In their book published last year by Yale University and titled “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism,” Nobel prize laureate economics professor Angus Deaton and his wife professor Anne dove deep into the socio-economic realities behind deaths which have gained prominence as a long-term phenomenon. The deep-seated inequalities in income and wealth distribution, in addition to disappointments, job losses, demoralization, helplessness and despair for the future is also hitting the White labor class hard. With all this taken into consideration, in addition to “system” preferences, it is indisputable that the lack of a feel-good leadership plays an important role. Can governments that don’t inspire a feeling of confidence in their own people, give it off to the people of other countries?