Summary Ù The Fifth Risk 108

Characters The Fifth Risk

Summary Ù The Fifth Risk 108 à The morning after Trump was elected president the people who ran the US Department of Energy waited to brief the administration’s transition team on the agency it would soon be running Nobody appeared Across all departments the stories were the same Trump appointees were few and far between; those who did show up were sThe morning after Trump was elected president the people who ran the US Department of Energy waited to brief the administration’s transition team on the agency it would soon be running Nobody appeared Across all departments the stories were the same Trump appointees were few and far between; those who did show up were shockingly uninf. What are the conseuences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it worksThis is the opening sentence in the book summary and also the first sentence inside the book jacket Lewis takes us inside a few Departments of our federal government talking to those who work there in the past and present Showing us what these Departments do what they are responsible for programs and oversights Have to admit I didn't know all the things they did but then again I doubt many people do including our current governmentThe Dept of Energy the Dept of Agriculture touching on the Dept Of commerce in all these Departments after the election they waited for the new administration to come in and find out what they were doing transitioning to new people They waited for months and finally one person showed up took one day with the Depts and basically disappeared again I'm not going to go into details about what eventually happened would take too long but one thing of note I will mention From the Dept Of Agriculture 220 billion was removed to another fund a fund from where it was easier to spend easier to not account for This money was from a program that provided low cost loans to our rural areas a program that has now been effectively shut down Of all the books I have read about our current political situation this is the one that scared me the most

Free download ✓ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ä Michael Lewis

D underpin our lives from ensuring the safety of our food and medications and predicting extreme weather events to tracking and locating black market uranium before the terrorists do The Fifth Risk masterfully and vividly unspools the conseuences of what happens when the people given control over our government have no idea how it works. Lewis is not a fan of the Trump Administration If it is politics that initially shaped that determination and I am not sure it was it is facts about our government and how it has evolved to provide us with safety security and information that are the genesis of this book I found this one of the scariest books I have read about the immediate future in the USA It haunts my dreams It makes every day a little bit difficult to get through Why Because Lewis is a master at articulating the reasons why I cannot should not take for granted many of the things that I have taken for granted It's the reason I can only read a little of this book at a timeI have selected some uotes from the book some are his direct observations and some are Lewis uoting others Let me know how comfortable you are after reading them Some of the things any incoming president should worry about are fast moving pandemics hurricanes terrorist attacks But most are not Most are like bombs with very long fuses that in the distant future when the fuse reaches the bomb might or might not explode It is delaying repairs to a tunnel filled with lethal waste until one day it collapses It is the aging workforce of the DOE—which is no longer attracting young people as it once did—that one day loses track of a nuclear bomb It is the ceding of technical and scientific leadership to China It is the innovation that never occurs and the knowledge that is never created because you have ceased to lay the groundwork for it It is what you never learned that might have saved youAsked to list them he Presidential candidate and ex Governor of Texas Rick Perry named Commerce Education and then hit a wall “The third agency of government I would do away with Education the ahhhh ahhh Commerce and let’s see” As his eyes bored a hole in his lectern his mind drew a blank “I can’t the third one I can’t Sorry Oops” The third department Perry wanted to get rid of he later recalled was the Department of Energy In his confirmation hearings to run the department Perry confessed that when he called for its elimination he hadn’t actually known what the Department of Energy did—and he now regretted having said that it didn’t do anything worth doing The uestion on the minds of the people who currently work at the department Does he know what it does now In his hearings Perry made a show of having educated himself He said how useful it was to be briefed by former secretary Ernest Moniz But when I asked someone familiar with those briefings how many hours Perry had spent with Moniz he laughed and said “That’s the wrong unit of account” With the nuclear physicist who understood the DOE perhaps better than anyone else on earth Perry had spent minutes not hours “He has no personal interest in understanding what we do and effecting change” a DOE staffer told me in June 2017 “He’s never been briefed on a program—not a single one which to me is shocking” Since Perry was confirmed his role has been ceremonial and bizarre He pops up in distant lands and tweets in praise of this or that DOE program while his masters inside the White House create budgets to eliminate those very programs“We had tried desperately to prepare them” said Tarak Shah chief of staff for the DOE’s 6 billion basic science program “But that reuired them to show up And bring ualified people But they didn’t They didn’t ask for even an introductory briefingThere is another way to think of John MacWilliams’s fifth risk the risk a society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long term risks with short term solutionsHis general point was that managing risks was an act of the imagination And the human imagination is a poor tool for judging risk People are really good at responding to the crisis that just happened as they naturally imagine that whatever just happened is most likely to happen again They are less good at imagining a crisis before it happens—and taking action to prevent it“People don’t understand that a bungled transition becomes a bungled presidency” The new people taking over the job of running the government were at best only partially informed and often deeply suspicious of whatever happened to be going on before they arrivedHe’d explain that the federal government provided services that the private sector couldn’t or wouldn’t medical care for veterans air traffic control national highways food safety guidelines He’d explain that the federal government was an engine of opportunity millions of American children for instance would have found it even harder than they did to make the most of their lives without the basic nutrition supplied by the federal government When all else failed he’d explain the many places the US government stood between Americans and the things that might kill them “The basic role of government is to keep us safe” he’d sayLewis noted that this current government is missing so many of the people who canmust run the agencies that are responsible for protecting our food keeping us safe from disease and doing the intelligence work that is absolutely essential No USA government has had so many “acting” heads of agencies two years into an administration nor has this Administration found replacements for the career workers and managers tasked with doing the day to day work that actually makes all the difference in the lives of over 300 million citizens

Michael Lewis ä 8 Free download

The Fifth RiskOrmed about the functions of their new workplaceMichael Lewis’s brilliant narrative of the Trump administration’s botched presidential transition takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its leaders through willful ignorance and greed The government manages a vast array of critical services that keep us safe an. Was reading The Fifth Risk in the tube A well dressed man got in noticed the American flag Jenga on the cover and immediately exclaimed “The Fifth Risk what do you think” Before I had a chance to respond he added in a polite American accent “I love the guy I devour his books” perhaps to allow me to temper my answerI’m a Michael Lewis fan I’ve read enough of him to think I know him So I wasn’t shy about my assessment“Tell you what” I answered “You know how half his books are about some uirky discovery and the people who made it and the other half are a bunch of articles he wrote before Well this is the second type It’s three chapters one each about a very important function of the government that is totally underappreciated by the public and about how Trump is about to gut it ““And yeah I buy it” I went on “he’s right but it lacks balance So all these 177 dangerous nuclear waste sites that Trump will let fester who built them The government did And how about our side’s enlightened approach Fine Trump wants to gut the USDA and did not bother to send anybody for the handover But tell me what Obama was doing sending a 2008 Harvard graduate to effectively supervise its budget Why does Michael Lewis not call out our side for fostering an army of Robert McNamaras If you ask me we’re no better than the other guys Our meritocracy stuff sending some Harvard kid in diapers into such a huge job is precisely the kind of sin we’re paying for”And then I went for the kill “Our side treats government like training ground for the best and the brightest theirs wants to gut it We’ve lost the high moral ground as far as I’m concerned”I proceeded to lament that my favorite part of the book so far had been when on election day with Pennsylvania called el Sisi – the Egyptian dictator one of “our SOBs” who could be a perfect judge of how to get through to a man not much unlike him in mentality got through to Trump by calling the switchboard of the Trump Tower only for the President elect to exclaim “I love the Bangles”“You know” my new American friend smiled “my Zen master would say he was doing his best when he said that”uiteI even had advice for the poor fellow who was starting to regret asking me “I finish books so I’ll read the whole thing but on balance skip this one”Turns out I was flat wrongThis is a third type of Michael Lewis book It’s a 219 page anecdote that leads to a single punchlineAnd so it was that Michael Lewis knocked me out in three rounds