Down With VAristocrats

Ladies and Gentlemen, it´ s high time to give a formal name to (yet another) patriciate on a corruption-reeking political stage. Please, let the haughty performance of Veteran Affairs´ extravagant actors be rewarded by the investiture of VAristocracy.

Why should Aristocracy be an eponym for VA´s elite? Well, let´s start by the “More money more wants” maxim. It´s a well-known fact that glitterati blow money on luxurious gimcracks that seem totally useless and ridiculous to the less wealthy people. No wonder that for VA´s upper crust even $200 billion budget was not enough: they got used to spending money on such “necessities” as “decorative rock sculptures”. Over the years, homeless and ill Veterans have seen no end to their misfortune, but they´ve witnessed fortune entrusted to VA being frittered away. Why VAristocracy , and not oligarchy? Well, Va-ristocrats view themselves as more arty and majestic. There´s also a hereditary lack of accountability for their administration.  Historically, aristocracy has proven itself to be disdainfully indifferent to the welfare of “lower classes.”  In the context of VA´s self-proclaimed elites, both the “lowly” Veterans and “plebeian” workers earn neither respect, nor empathy. Unhappy customers and whistle-blowers will be viewed as a threat to local VA´s thrones and will know narcissistic rage of retaliation.

In line with Social Identity Theory (H. Tajfel 1979) perception of one´s social self is influenced by his social class; In case of individuals with already self-inflated egos their “gentry”-influenced cognition and subsequent poor social vision are blurred with megalomania. No longer capable of connecting with the “commoners”, a “noble” bureaucrat will prefer to brainstorm “Veterans related ideas” at meetings with city or state elite. What follows, are royal “sharing agreements” and golden opportunities-for the blue-blooded “associates”, not for Veterans. And by the way: VA´s Acquisition Management was identified as a new area on GAO´s High Risk List (2019 Report, U.S Government Accountability Office). Well, no matter how parched with the heat put on them, some of VA´s patricians will still go for snake oil, not for vital water.

A typical VAristocrat considers that yoga “heals” homelessness, and playing with silly putty is “therapeutic” for a combat hero whose medical appointments keep being “re-scheduled.”  VA is requesting a total of $220.5 billion in fiscal year 2020, but some reps of their gentry have already concluded that there´ll be no money for Veterans who´ve been fighting for compensation for Agent Orange-caused damages. Even better: when it comes to compensation for AO-affected Veterans, there´s money for some and nothing for others. As it was rightly observed by Margaret Thatcher: “Class is a Communist concept. It groups people as bundles and sets them against one another”.

VA is foreseeing $9.4 billion for “prevention of Veteran suicides.”  Well, tormenting Veterans who´ve been waiting for decades for roof over their heads or for overdue compensation looks more like “intentional conduct that creates a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm will result to another person,” which incidentally stands for “Incitement to suicide.” Nothing will change in the VA without destroying the “class system” and without toppling the bureaucratic VAristocrats. VA Secretary Wilkie will have to start a revolution, or officially purchase a poodle-like powdered wig and join other dandies in ribbon cutting and portrait unveiling.

Sire, if VA keeps spending money as if there were no tomorrow, there´ll be no tomorrow for Veterans.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it´ s high time to give a formal name to (yet another) patriciate on a corruption-reeking political stage. Please, let the haughty performance of Veteran Affairs´ extravagant actors be rewarded by the investiture of VAristocracy.

Why should Aristocracy be an eponym for VA´s elite? Well, let´s start by the “More money more wants” maxim. It´s a well-known fact that glitterati blow money on luxurious gimcracks that seem totally useless and ridiculous to the less wealthy people. No wonder that for VA´s upper crust even $200 billion budget was not enough: they got used to spending money on such “necessities” as “decorative rock sculptures”. Over the years, homeless and ill Veterans have seen no end to their misfortune, but they´ve witnessed fortune entrusted to VA being frittered away. Why VAristocracy , and not oligarchy? Well, Va-ristocrats view themselves as more arty and majestic. There´s also a hereditary lack of accountability for their administration.  Historically, aristocracy has proven itself to be disdainfully indifferent to the welfare of “lower classes.”  In the context of VA´s self-proclaimed elites, both the “lowly” Veterans and “plebeian” workers earn neither respect, nor empathy. Unhappy customers and whistle-blowers will be viewed as a threat to local VA´s thrones and will know narcissistic rage of retaliation.

In line with Social Identity Theory (H. Tajfel 1979) perception of one´s social self is influenced by his social class; In case of individuals with already self-inflated egos their “gentry”-influenced cognition and subsequent poor social vision are blurred with megalomania. No longer capable of connecting with the “commoners”, a “noble” bureaucrat will prefer to brainstorm “Veterans related ideas” at meetings with city or state elite. What follows, are royal “sharing agreements” and golden opportunities-for the blue-blooded “associates”, not for Veterans. And by the way: VA´s Acquisition Management was identified as a new area on GAO´s High Risk List (2019 Report, U.S Government Accountability Office). Well, no matter how parched with the heat put on them, some of VA´s patricians will still go for snake oil, not for vital water.

A typical VAristocrat considers that yoga “heals” homelessness, and playing with silly putty is “therapeutic” for a combat hero whose medical appointments keep being “re-scheduled.”  VA is requesting a total of $220.5 billion in fiscal year 2020, but some reps of their gentry have already concluded that there´ll be no money for Veterans who´ve been fighting for compensation for Agent Orange-caused damages. Even better: when it comes to compensation for AO-affected Veterans, there´s money for some and nothing for others. As it was rightly observed by Margaret Thatcher: “Class is a Communist concept. It groups people as bundles and sets them against one another”.

VA is foreseeing $9.4 billion for “prevention of Veteran suicides.”  Well, tormenting Veterans who´ve been waiting for decades for roof over their heads or for overdue compensation looks more like “intentional conduct that creates a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm will result to another person,” which incidentally stands for “Incitement to suicide.” Nothing will change in the VA without destroying the “class system” and without toppling the bureaucratic VAristocrats. VA Secretary Wilkie will have to start a revolution, or officially purchase a poodle-like powdered wig and join other dandies in ribbon cutting and portrait unveiling.

Sire, if VA keeps spending money as if there were no tomorrow, there´ll be no tomorrow for Veterans.