Undermining the values that hold us together
When a nation's identified miscreants keep wasting their neighbor's hard-earned money (taxes) on bad practices, bad decisions, and a prideful refusal to change behavior, that over time leads to the same harmful results, then we have a systemic failure that must be reformed.
It does us no good to single out individuals for blame or guilt: politicians realized they could buy people's votes, and gain corporate favor that led to donations, by a constant easing of the rules, and a redefining of the simple American values; hard work and honesty as the way to earn rewards.
It was only a short time ago that our common sense, our morality, and our sense of justice were generally shared; allowing us a degree of trust which was a key component to the freedom that we have enjoyed as Americans: Something went wrong in our last two major crises.
Lenin's quote was that the way to destroy capitalism is to debauch the currency. We are borrowing trillions of dollars, both in 2008 and 2020, without a clear path to increased productivity or output--i.e. cleaning up messes. Both collectively, and as individuals, we have been trained that when we receive uncomfortable news, or have a bad hair day, or a bout of undefined depression, the first line answer is to borrow money, go shopping, and we will "feel" better about things.
I propose that we are also debauching our ability to communicate clearly at the same time. For example, after listening to a panic-oriented news report reference the virus, the next person on the air was the national weather person who started their presentation "Danger from above! Massive storms will be ripping through the Midwest, power outages in major Eastern cities, tornadoes, high winds and hail!" (This was the third week in a row of these warnings -- it hasn't been true.)
If we could stand back and observe what is going on at every level, we would see that we have inflated our language in order to be heard over increasingly high voltage noise. In retrospect this is how the original panic started three weeks ago with exaggerated estimates out of Imperial College in England.