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The U.S. Response to Covid-19 Has Lavished Wealth on the Rich

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/09/us-response-covid-19-has-lavished-wealth-rich

Don’t you worry now. As soon as she gets this month’s marching orders from Jamie Demon and the other banksters Nancy will make sure that record corporate welfare doesn’t dominate CARES 3 the way it did CARES 1 & 2.

After seeing Congress put US taxpayers on the hook for $20 trillion in bankster bailout schemes after the 2008 crash (giving those banks the most lucrative profit center they have ever had) every other corporation soon postured themselves to hop on the bailout gravy train when the next crisis struck. The US gubmit turning COVID into an epic crisis includes issuing those corporations licenses to steal with no expiration date.

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And we have a the democratic establishment/presidential candidate that is totally in sync with the ugly facts in this article as exemplified by the latest Joe Biden fundraiser:

(h)ttps://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-e416-de1f-a7fb-e7f757ea0000

"Biden plans to engage in a “virtual conversation” with Clinton and Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez via Zoom according to an invitation released by Politico.
Tickets for the video fundraiser are going for $100,000, $50,000, $41,100, $15,600, $5,600 and, for a limited time, $2,800.

All funds raised from the evening are earmarked for the Biden Victory Fund. Biden reached an agreement with the DNC last month that provided the former vice president with greater control over fundraising activities by the party organization"

Christo Aivalis offers yet another excellent take on the Biden campaign:

(h)ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0oIZ3xb7Jw

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The redistribution of income from the poor and middle class to the wealthy occurs regardless of the political party in The White House. Having a democratic majority in the House or Senate makes no fucking difference.
“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you.”
George Carlin - “The American Dream” (2005)

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Love Carlin. He pulled back the curtain in a way that made us smile through our pain. We really need Carlin back on the stage right now. At least we could laugh as we go down with this rotten to the core ship of State…

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Remember that this was a choice by DC.

They chose to make sure that big corporations and the banks were fine.
They chose to put an obscenely low cap on the small business funds.
They chose to not backstop payroll to keep people attached to theirs job and so they can keep their healthcare.
They chose to make sure people who lose their jobs cannot get healthcare.
They chose to give the people who have been actually victimized by this crisis a mere pittance while showering Wallstreet and their rich donors with money that belongs to those very victimized tax payers who paid into the system for years and decades with their hard work.

This was all a choice!!

And the bitter irony most Americans are in denial about is that it would have been the exact same response even under a Democrat president. Remember that even though this time around the Dems control the House and have enough votes in the Senate to block any sort of legislation, they still passed it pretty much unanimously. The second stimulus Bill too, by the way. The only person who voted NO on that one is AOC.

The point is that the two parties have more in common than not and that the rot and corruption, the cancer that’s been eating away at the Ameircan working class, is deep, systemic and something both parties perpetuate. And I don’t have any hope that this is going to change in any way whether Trump wins re-election or the Establishment manages to drag Biden’s drooling body through the finish line. The fix is already in: when the crisis hit, wallstreet, the lobbyists, corporations etc - they were prepared and ready and organized and they put down their demands, which were promptly met. Heck Boeing had policy drafted specifically for Boeing, written by Boeing.

I don’t see this ending well for us. And this isn’t even something you can vote your way out of. And even if you could, voters are stupid. See the primaries.

The only movement that was even beginning to meaningfully address these issues has been, as of now, successfully quashed by the above mentioned actors and at this point is a mere footnote. Sanders is a joke, we’ve been sidelined. This is not going to end well for us no matter what happens in November.

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gee, policy that can even exploit a pandemic to make the rich richer. who’d a thunk it?

yawn.

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In the midst of rereading Twain, and fondly remembering that plain-speaking old-young sage of my youth… the two seem very close, at heart: Piercing clean through all the pretense, without offering any magic elixir for breaking free of it all. Some folks might think Carlin was more bitter than Twain, but that’s only folks who haven’t learned there’s no such thing as “more bitter than Twain.” Ostracized for his disgust with the moral hypocrisy of Empire’s first tip-toe into the Philippines, losing everyone close, by the time he wrote Connecticut Yankee, he was prepared to pen a prescient dystopia, as if in revenge – he was that bitter.

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Another article with a reasonable analysis of how we’re being screwed. And another article in complete denial, or worse, about what can or should be done.

Under the heading “Another path,” we might expect to see, you know, an actual way forward. But, after a few of more paragraphs that essentially reiterate the article’s previous “we’re being screwed” theme, we get: “Instead of pursuing such a market fundamentalist approach, Congress could … [blah, blah, single payer, wealth tax, …] … proposals [that] may seem far-fetched.”

So,…where is the “path,” exactly??? “It’s the status quo that’s radical. If there was ever a time to upend it, it’s now.” Yah. No s**t Sherlock.

That’s the “path”? Is the solution is to vote Democratic so we get a Congress that’s not clinically insane, only one that’s allergic to overturning the status quo??? Congress is the only actor that the author mentions.

Ultimately, this article says nothing to what those of us who aren’t in Republican-style or Democratic-style denial should be doing to use this unique moment in history to push the US in a sane direction, to end its militaryism, its worship of the Free Market and wealth and the wealthy, to put the needs of human beings and other beings and the planet ahead of Bezos’ ever-increasing wealth.

I am grateful for the article’s arrows to add to my quiver to shoot the broad side of the “US: bastion of liberty, light of the world, God’s gift to humanity” barn. But, truthfully, there are already so many arrows in my quiver I can’t even carry it. Frankly, I don’t see a way forward. Do you?

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Instead of pursuing such a market fundamentalist approach, Congress could go fuck itself.

That’s my suggested improvement. Doesn’t quite fit on a bumper sticker, though.

But seriously: I’ve never understood why op-edders always feel they have to offer a solution (!) to any problem they notice. It’s often where articles fall to pieces, because such “all we have to do is…” solutions veer toward the ludicrous, to adult ears. They could write the same damn thing and improve it immeasurably by leaving off the lame so-called solution.

Your readers aren’t children, not generally. If any children are reading this kind of stuff, they’re undoubtedly too clever to treat like children. It’s okay to examine problems among adults and let them work out their own solutions, as best they can.

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Prior to this pandemic the USA was rated as the country most able to handle a large scale pandemic.

They failed miserably and as time goes on more details learned of those early days of the outbreak where, in spite of trumps yelling about WHO and China lying , the USA was fully aware of the nature of the disease and what would happen when (not if) it reached US shores.

Prior to the pandemic a number of those Corporations were in Financial trouble.

When the 1 percent profit off such an incident the question is always there. Was this be design? Did the US Government deliberately act in the manner in which it did so that there WOULD be an opportunity to shovel billions more to the billionaires. ?

I would not put it past them.

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Love Twain too. Try his Letters From the Earth if you really want to get his sense of what is going on down here. This book was so confrontational; and out of step with the beliefs - religious and otherwise - here in the USA that it was published only some years after his death per his will. It is written as letters from the Devil who has been banished from Heaven to the evil Earth to learn his lesson for whatever it was he pissed off God about. It’s been out of print for a very long time, but you might find a used copy somewhere. Enjoy!!

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In response to a long-delayed test of tissue preserved (by an astute San Mateo county examiner!) and sent over weeks and weeks ago, CDC finally reconciled their “New Cases by Day” data:

~https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

What is the relevance of this to your “by design” query? Well, it seems damned odd to me that the first case had to wait more than a couple of months to be detected by the CDC. The CDC, dammit – a friend of the family made her career there. (Can you imagine how it is for decent epidemiological workers in CDC HQ these days?)

Another odd thing: the shape of our outbreak, as CDC currently relates it. The first case now clocks in on January 24, so USA is in its 15th week:

> WEEK    14 DAYS             CASES
>         ENDING          NEW       TOTAL
> 
>   2.  01/31/2020           6           6
>   4.  02/14/2020           6          12
>   6.  02/28/2020           3          15
>   8.  03/13/2020       1,880       1,895
>  10.  03/27/2020     101,425     103,320
>  12.  04/10/2020     389,095     492,415
>  14.  04/24/2020     404,711     897,126
>  16.  05/08/2020     378,270   1,275,396
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My issue is that the problems are all too obvious and glaring, but the solutions seem nonexistent. For every 10 articles on problems, there are approximately 0 on any realistic way to solve them.

I have found believable Immanuel Wallerstein’s idea that there are moments in history where “all bets are off” (he didn’t put it quite this way), where the dominant paradigm is shaken, and where there is an opportunity to make real changes – for good, or for bad. As temporal beings, it’s always possible to say, “Now is the moment,” but there are certainly some unique aspects of how the coronavirus and the response has upended business as usual. People, including some fo the ruling class, have been shaken by this experience. It’s pushed many of us outside our comfort zones.

I see parallels to the 1930s, both the economic downturn, and also the rise of authoritarian, nationalistic leaders and movements. What I find depressing is the absence of the leftist movements – the socialists, trade unionists, communists – that pushed the US in particular in a progressive direction.

I agree with the last line of the article that “If there was ever a time to upend [the status quo], it’s now.” But what gets put in its place? Even as the article talks about this “path,” the rest of it makes clear that the capitalists are using this as yet another opportunity for the coronavirus “shock” to further enrich and entrench themselves. Maybe you can tell this kid what path can take us in a good direction.

But I can’t (and you’re only flattering a duffer anyhow, like as not). I can share the directions of thought or inquiry I’ve found practical for the peculiar cognitive problems confronting me in my own life. Others who have their head together (or not) might find no use in the medicines I’ve imbibed. My most challenging work has been personal and political at the same time, because I’ll always be on the lookout for another scrap of liberation from severe psychological abuse which inhered from growing up in an upside-down pseudo-Christian cult (Mrs Eddy’s, that is).

It’s enough to drive one crazy. In my case, it very nearly did. The “gurus” I find are my lifeguards, saviors when rip-currents imperiled me. My guru of critical pedagogy, Paulo Friere, insists that we have to work out this “direction” thing collaboratively. I’m not here to direct you, or vice versa. (It’s wonderful how Friere dispenses with propagandistic education.) My guru of scientific ontology, Karl Popper, sums up with the same conclusion (which sometimes vexes folks, whether or not they realize Popper’s worldview relies on no more basic principle): Let’s talk it over and see what emerges.

For some reason I’m attracted more to Buddhists who don’t know they’re Buddhists. The ones who talk about Buddhism almost always wind up stepping in it and looking silly, in my experience.

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And don’t forget that, after the 2008 debacle, fast-tracking this type of corporate welfare became law. It’s part of why the relief for those who need it the least has been so swift.

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For a limited time, $2,800? Wow, what a steal!

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All good points. This virus, though, isn’t through. So far its been more effective than all the journalists (good, bad and ugly) at getting the news out that Capitalism, NeoLiberalism, this Gummint and both Parties are the problem.

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Wow, the optics of this during COVID and millions unemployed. 2800$ for the lowest priced ticket? That more then 2 people out of jobs using their stimulus cheques. This is disgusting but it shows where the DNC comes from in spite of those mouthpieces running here writing articles that Biden deserves the votes of the poor.

Great video link.

The DNC is corrupt. End of story.

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Thank you, Ms. Pelosi for this.

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