Transcript of Episode 10
LaMondre Pough: Welcome to 3DVU one conversation, three different perspectives. I’m LaMondre Pough.
David Pérez: I am David Perez.
Richard Streitz: And I am Richard Streitz. Thank you for joining us.
Hello and welcome to another edition of 3DVU. Today’s topic, we are going to discuss, um, governments at a global level, um, and trust, trust issues with the public, uh, um, and how they are, um, how we all are, um, looking and, and dealing with what the governments, uh, what various governments are doing around the world.
Um, we in the US of course, um, regardless of, of, what side of the aisle, um, your political beliefs are. I think everyone would agree that there is, um, a lack of trust, um, at, at multiple levels, um, in government or of government or in agencies of the governments. Um, and this isn’t something that is, unfortunately, not unique to the us. We have other countries that are also, um, have been not only experiencing this for decades, um, but, uh, are, are also experiencing these issues now. Um, I think some of the reasons why this has come more to everyone’s attention at a global level are, is, is primarily because of COVID.
Um, I think COVID has exasperated the, uh, a lot of these issues. To a point where they’ve come to the forefront of the, um, of the people’s consciousness, um, uh, and the peoples of the, of, of the various nations. Um, so, uh, I think, and of course social media and social media of course allows us, the platform, to be able to communicate across borders where in many respects we have the peoples of the world coming together as a collective outside of the governments that, uh, that in theory, um, are supposed to be representing them and doing them good.
So it’s, it’s very, very interesting. Um, and this speaks to the larger globalization of, of the general public and the general good. So that’s sort of the topic in a nutshell of what we’re going to talk about. Um, and, uh, and just before we started recording David, you had mentioned in Costa Rica, for example, um, the issues that you’re having.
So why don’t you go ahead?
David Pérez: Well, Costa Rica is in a big economic crisis. Since I think two years ago, we are in a lot of debt. Basically we are reaching 60% of our GDP being debt.
Of what we’re producing, 60% we owe to banks. So if we keep that trend and the state keeps being as big as it is and funding basically everyone’s lives.
We are gonna go bankrupt as a country. So of course, about a year and a half ago, they were able to pass new tax laws to make front to that. But then COVID hit and with COVID, of course production slowed down, slowed down a lot. People were not being able to produce as much as they wanted, because of course we didn’t have one of our main sources of income, which was tourism and everyone had to shelter in place.
So production went down. Of course, if production goes down, tax recollection goes down with it. So, now we need to do something else to get that money. The only Avenue that the government found was to go and ask for another loan. It’s not even that big of a loan, but it is necessary to make front to the crisis that they have right now.
The problem is that it is with the international monetary fund. I don’t know if that’s correct translation, but
Richard Streitz: International Monetary Fund, yes.
David Pérez: They, they ask governments to do certain things before they lend them money. They need to have a plan. Of course, they need to have a plan to pay back. And that plan to pay back involved, creating more taxes, some of them temporary, but people were not happy with it.
They were, or they are not happy with the fact that they were, out of jobs, having to shelter in place, not being able to transit as much as they, they would like to be able to produce what they were able to produce before. So they decided to block roads across Costa Rica. A lot of roads were blocked. So the government reacted as governments react and they sent the police.
The police got there and there were a lot of confrontations, to say it, mildly. Trucks were burned. Even policemen were burned in this scenario. And I know that for the people that know about Costa Rica, this might be a little surprising to hear because we are known as a peaceful country that has a very stable, political climate and whatnot.
But as I was telling you guys before we started the recording, this is what happens when you undress inequalities, because what happened with this is that basically the tide went down on everyone. And you could see who was swimming without a swimsuit.
Richard Streitz: Right.
David Pérez: The people that had nothing were left without anything at all, not even the tide tube to keep swimming a little bit.
So Costa Rica is having a big problem, a big social problem with that specifically. And of course, all of those other inequalities that we had from years past, all bundled up into this unrest that we’re living right now.
LaMondre Pough: Yeah. You know, this was, what’s really interesting. Um, talking about how COVID-19 and the global pandemic really uncovered, um, a lot of issues, same thing here in the, in the US uh, that we,
you know, we were already dealing with these issues, particularly of like, um, you know, police brutality, uh, inequality, um, racial issues. And, and this has been an issue for the US for a very long time. And of course, in 2015, 2016, around that time is when you really started seeing things come to a head, particularly with the misinformation that’s given, um, through various outlets, both media and social media.
Um, you could just feel the, you could feel the pressure building. You could feel the, the pressure mounting, but when the pandemic hit, it was almost like. Boom, the explosion happened and everything became greatly intensified. And so now I do believe that there is a general mistrust of, um, of government that people, um, a lot of people simply don’t trust the government.
Don’t trust. A lot of people don’t trust the news outlets, that’s reporting, on what’s happening. Um, and what’s even scarier about that is because of certain social media outlets, people are allowed to live in their bubble. Like if you believe this way, if, if, if you see things this way and you know, you search for these things, you can literally be in the world that that’s all you see, that that’s the only perspective that’s presented to you. And what does that do, that forced the exchange of ideas. And when you force the exchange of ideas, you create these cultures where people believe that this is what it is. This is, this is how it is, and this is the way we see it. And there is no other reality or no other, there’s no other perspective that’s to be brought to this. And then you get this cycle that forms. And,
Richard Streitz: Well, it becomes like a feeding frenzy, right? I mean, they, it feeds every, within those bubbles, they feed off each other and it just winds up. It just spirals until, you know, it hits some sort of, um, moment or, or action.
LaMondre Pough: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we’re seeing that we are seeing that over and over again. Now how this ends, I don’t know. My hope is that, my hope is that the better of us will prevail. That the good, that resides in humanity will prevail, but I tell you, it can be really dark. It can be really dark and we’ve seen some very ugly things manifest, um, with that.
David Pérez: Yeah. That’s what happens when people are angry.
Richard Streitz: Well, right. Uh, anger takes many, many forms. Um, and, and so as, as broad, a spectrum of personality types that exist, each one of those will, will, um, demonstrate their anger. Um, will realize their anger or, or unrest in, in a way that is indicative of that personality type.
And so this is why we end up, um, and although that, that has always existed. What sort of exasperates it again to, to LaMondre your point is social media and the media itself, which ends up sort of feeding, um, feeding this and, and all of these various, various, uh, groups and bubbles can, um, can decide to, to stay within that and then feed off that.
And, you know, and then, and then the rest and, you know, a perfect example that happened just a couple days ago is the governor in Michigan. Um, and, and the, uh, and the issue that, that, and I think that’s a good example of how a small group who may have not necessarily had, who had like-mind thinking who may not have necessarily been able to have contact with each other.
Um, we’re able to coalesce as a group, um, via social media and, and allow that to just spin out of control.
David Pérez: Right. There’s also the positive side of that, right? They were caught because they were doing it on the internet.
Richard Streitz: Well, right. Um, this time.
David Pérez: This time.
LaMondre Pough: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, I’m sorry. Go ahead.
David Pérez: Go ahead.
LaMondre Pough: No, I was going to say, and I think it’s important too, to, to help people understand what actually happened with the, uh, with the governor of Michigan. Cause, um, I, you know, I know that mostly folks in the US may know, but, um, also the time that this come out, it, it, it may be a few weeks down the road.
Uh, by the time that this actually airs. So I don’t want people to forget about it. You know, we’ve got that 24 hour news cycle. So basically there was a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan, uh, and it was done by, um, I can’t remember the, I don’t even know if they were formerly, uh, formalized. But, a group of guys.
Richard Streitz: A group, yeah.
LaMondre Pough: A group of guys that, uh, wanted her to open up the state and, and to, to, to, make it as, as simple as possible, because they didn’t want to wear their masks, you know, so flat. So they’d put together a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan and, um, and it was found out. And, uh, and, and of course it was stopped, uh, before that could transpire, but.
The thing is that they really attempted to do this, that this was something that really happened. And not only, um, did it seem like this is something that they really tried to do, that it was almost inspired by the current leadership. Not saying that he gave a directive to do it, but certainly the rhetoric, certainly the conversations, certainly the things that have been put out there.
Served as, for some of those people, or, or some people who are, who are easily persuaded. Um, it served as a, as, as a call to action, you know, and this is, this is I believe where a large part of that distress comes in at. Um, and we talked about anger, but then there’s also fear. Fear is also something that really drives, um, these actions as well, you know?
David Pérez: Yeah. There, there’s a thing that comes to my memory when we’re talking about this. And when I was starting college, we had a, we didn’t have as much social media as we do now. Right. So it was a, it was a new phenomenon. And my professors were starting to try to understand it. I, of course, was studying political science.
One thing that they were saying is it’s going to be very hard when people can create their own feed of news on their own, right? Because now people are not going to see what traditional media wants them to see. They’re going to see basically whatever they really want. And I thought to myself at that point, why wouldn’t you want people to see what they want?
Right. They there’ll be able to find more information. They’re going to be able to find new things. But of course, I never thought that people would be so inclined to look at things that they are. They agree with that everything that they don’t agree with would be considered, for them, not interesting at all.
So they would narrow and narrow and narrow and narrow their points of view to the point of extremism. Which is what is happening. I know that, in the US those are basically bad words, nationalism, extremism, terrorism, but the, the example that we were talking about is terrorism.
Richard Streitz: Yeah.
David Pérez: Trying to kidnap the government is terrorism.
Richard Streitz: Absolutely, domestic terrorism.
LaMondre Pough: Absolutely. And what’s funny though. What’s funny though. Um, we haven’t heard it called that very much in the media. We’ve heard about a plot. We’ve heard about all those kinds of things and people kind of hint at it, but to just definitively say that this is terrorism, um, you, you don’t hear that being touted too, too much here.
Um, and that’s, uh, that’s scary. That’s scary. I remember when, uh, I remember when, um, when president Trump, uh, first got into office. They started removing certain groups off of the, uh, terrorist list. And most of those groups that they removed were white supremacist or white nationalist groups. And my thinking was, you know, if you really look at the data, the way that the data, um, shows, it shows that we are at much greater risk of having bad actors that are associated with a white supremacy or white nationalist of groups than we are any foreign um, any foreign groups that come into into the U S or trying to attack the US. But we still refuse to call it what it is. And again, you know, it goes back to the point that I made earlier. It was probably around 15 or 16, where we really started feeling that, Ooh, this, this, this could be really bad.
You know, we felt it before, but not to that level. And, and, and removing those groups from those roles really gave away to legitimate, to legitimize their cause and their stand and even to give them some credibility. And that, again, leads to the mistrust of government.
Richard Streitz: Right. Right. And, and we certainly, we certainly see that, um, across the world as well, when we’ve seen this manifest itself in China, um, with, uh, with their, um, with their youths and, uh, and large expanding middle class, um, that now has suddenly become, has suddenly gained a voice.
Um, And, and social media has been one of the platforms to which collectively, um, they can express their voice. Um, and that’s something that’s, uh, I, I think the government didn’t necessarily, um, get a good handle on, um, because they’re certainly the, I mean, they, they certainly live in a very controlled media controlled environment.
Um, and so the idea that at, in mass, uh, the public can, um, can do that is something it’s, uh, I think that’s been clamped down a couple of pegs from what it was, um, um, say a year ago, but, uh, or, or maybe six months ago, but, um, but nonetheless, this is, this is what happens when the people start mistrusting, um, or start having a clear vision as to the ultimate directives of which a government is, is trying to, uh, trying to gain control or suppress, uh, peoples or a group of peoples.
Um, um, so it’s, it’s very interesting, you know, uh, um, the, Russia is also the same way, um, as well with, uh, with many, many groups being vocal, much more vocal than they have in the past. And one of the, one of the challenges that all leaderships follows is that there’s far more people than there are leaders.
And as soon as there’s a tipping point of that mistrust, you know, um, you know, uh, the, the history is littered with incidences where the people have uprose, uh, um, have Rose up and overthrown governments that they were ultimately not happy with anymore. Um, and so, you know, the people have the ability and the power to be able to do that, uh, when pushed far enough, um, what we have to keep in check are the smaller minority groups, uh, radical extremist groups, um, that, um, that instigate, um, and, um, and falsely initiate, uh, scenarios that, um, that may not necessarily be true.
David Pérez: Yeah. There a concept that I think it’s basically what we’re talking about. It’s it’s called a failed state and a failed state doesn’t have to be a completely failed state. It can be failing for some of its citizens. So it, the concept of a failed state is a, is a state that completely disintegrates or that fails to perform its duties accordingly to what people expected, right? Because a state is a social contract, basically. So if, if it’s not working for all of us, as, as we wish it was working for us, then it is a failed state for this specific group. In, in the past, it mainly has failed in specific regions that are left out of government control.
Like for example, Mexico has zones where they do not have control because narco traffic has made it impossible for the, the state to have control. So that that’s part of a failed state for Mexico basically. But right now I think that every government is experiencing symptoms of failed state. Because we interest inequalities, we were not giving the same opportunities or the same basic things to every citizen.
We were failing as governments. So of course, failed states are what’s popping basically all around the world.
LaMondre Pough: Right. Right. So how do we fix this? How do we turn this around? We’ve only got a few minutes left. How do we, how do we, A, uh, regain or rebuild trust in government and in institutions, or, do we just change it totally? What, how do we move forward?
Richard Streitz: Well, I think there’s an, we need to understand, to make the distinction between a failed system or failed leadership in, you know, with specific individuals. Um, because those two aren’t necessarily, um, the same, uh, I think there’s two things that we’re experiencing and I’ll speak for here in the US I think we have an eroded, um, system which needs some tightening up. Um, I think it’s, over the years, there’s been some level of erosion to how it’s been, um, um, how it’s been implemented policies, procedures, and so forth, uh, through interpretation and, and, and that sort of thing. Um, and that is on top of, um, leadership.
Um, people in, in leadership positions that have missed the mark or have lost, uh, lost their way as to the people’s work. Um, and, and that, again, that hasn’t been something that’s happened in one term or, or, um, or in a couple of years, that’s something that systemically has built up over the past 15, 20 years, that has, that has gotten us to this point. So I think changing it or fixing it requires sort of two levels. I mean, I think there’s without question, there’s some individuals that need to move on, they need to, um, allow an open up to new ideas, fresh ideas, um, um, new people coming into, into government as well as, uh, as a hard look at to our systemic, um, uh, policies and procedures that have large, uh, effects over people.
David Pérez: Yeah, for sure that there needs to be systemic change, that that’s an absolute given. And I think that there’s an argument to be made that bad leadership is a symptom of that systemic problem. Right?
Richard Streitz: Oh, absolutely.
David Pérez: The leadership doesn’t get there without the system being easily rigged or easily manipulated.
LaMondre Pough: Right.
David Pérez: In one way or another. But that, I think that the main fix for this, and I know I always go back to the same things, but it is reducing inequality. We need to make the world better for everyone. And when you do that, all of the rest of the fixes can build on that base of a very equal, very good world, better world.
So I think we need to start having those conversations about universal basic income. It’s something that we can do. It’s something that’s viable. It’s something that’s tested. It has proven to be good. We just need to test it at a bigger scale and see what happens.
LaMondre Pough: Yeah,
David Pérez: We can’t break this any more than it is.
LaMondre Pough: Right, right, right. And I think that, that was the point that I was going to make that, that exact point, the system is already broken. So now we have to figure out how do we remake this? How do we create this? How do we move forward from where we are? Because the truth is, one of the reasons that it is so broken is because it’s only worked for a few.
Richard Streitz: For a long time.
LaMondre Pough: Exactly. Exactly. And what we’ve seen was the gap growing. What we’ve seen was that, that, that, uh, that span between those that it works for and those that it does not, we’ve seen that span widen. And so now we have the opportunity to create something new, I think the three of us on this, uh, uh, you know, our, our, I think all three of us are very optimistic people.
And we want, we, we, we believe that no matter what, that we can make it better, that if, if we put our shoulders to the wheel, if we put our wills together and push in that direction, that we can make it better. And I do believe we will. Now I will say this. I believe that sometimes in order for things to get better, you’ve gotta go through some rough times, you got to go through the, the bruises and the rubs of, of, of really it’s the friction of work. It is the, the, the, the simple, the simple rubs that happen as you grow to make a better society and a better world. And I believe we’re up for the challenge. I’m so encouraged by the young people that have stepped up that have spoken up, um, folks who are reaching across.
You know, what, what, what typically they may not have been directly impacted by to do something about it. Uh, and I see that happening on all levels. Is there resistance? Absolutely. But it was Frederick Douglass who said: power concedes nothing without a struggle. And it never has, and it never will. So I just believe that that we’re in for the struggle.
I believe that, that good people are willing to struggle to make a better tomorrow. And, um, and I believe we can, and I believe we will. So thank you guys for the conversation. I appreciate it.
Richard Streitz: You bet.
Thank you. And thank you all. We appreciate you, uh, listening and, uh, again, share comments. Thank you very much and have a great day.
David Pérez: Thanks for joining us this week on 3DVU, make sure to visit our website ruhglobal.com/3DVU. That’s ruhglobal.com/3DVU . Where you can subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts or join our YouTube channel so you will never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you find value in the show, we appreciate it if you would leave a like or comment or simply tell a friend about the show, that would really help us a lot too. If you would like to join our conversations, you can join our Facebook community 3DVU, three perspectives, one conversation. .