We all know that how you look at a problem often determines the possible solutions. If the solutions are defined only within certain restrictions, then those restrictions may well rule out an entire set of other solutions. If you are looking for important leadership and you have defined leadership options as being only white males over 60 years old who own property, then you may find the best within that group, but we will miss many who do not fit within those restrictions. You may even miss the very leader who will actually solve the problem.

We find ourselves in a bit of the same quandary with the COVID-19 virus. If we believe that businesses and the economy are the top priority in finding solutions, then everything else is of lower priority and may well need to be sacrificed to save the economy. I might also add that the economy has been radically redefined in the last half century in neoliberal economic terms.

If, on the other hand, you see the health and welfare of the citizens as the top priority, then helping people survive the pandemic will be of utmost importance and the economy and the principles of neoliberal economics will be of secondary importance and may need to be sacrificed to find a solution.

Watching how our federal government reacts to this crisis tells us which perspective holds sway and which perspective is being served. If you measure those priorities against the principles of a democracy you are left with only one conclusion -- the health and welfare of our citizens must be a higher priority than the health of our neoliberal economic system. If that is not the situation, citizens must make their voices heard and set America back on course.

Bob Passi