I read Congressman Stauber’s column 3 days ago in the Tribune and as I expected read nothing I didn’t know already. I guess it was in the vein of reassurance that everything that could be done is being done. With Donald Trump in charge of bleaching America that is hardly reassuring.
The column began with the painful reminder that up until we started staying at home our economy was roaring on all the money the Republicans made sure to send the Rich a year ago. The rich have gotten even more with the latest package of spending as the banks made quick money on the nation’s back by doling out more “salary security” dollars to some of the richest companies which quickly converted their corona dollars into more stock buybacks. I am of course outraged that this could happen again. Anyway here is how Pete started his column that goes nowhere:
“Just a few weeks ago, our nation was experiencing a “blue-collar boom,” with record low unemployment and historic economic growth. Tragically, the arrival of the novel corona virus changed everything. In response to this virus, stringent social-distancing measures were implemented to flatten the curve and to prevent our hospitals from being inundated. While these measures have certainly saved lives, they also have forced millions of Americans to file for unemployment and countless small businesses to close their doors.”
America can’t live on its fat for two years if that’s how long it takes to produce a vaccine. We will see some businesses reopen for a while but remain prepared to shut down again if the virus kicks up too actively. Already a great many poorly paid people are doing essential things which our laissez faire economy regards as grunt work worthy of little compensation like taking care of the elderly and infirm and delivering food. Like the medical staff in corona soaked hospitals these formerly non essential workers are taking the greatest risks so that those of us of means can take our ease, like the Popes of yore who left the Vatican for their country estates during Malaria season.
If I were in Congress I’d begin working with Democrats who have long urged that we undo the Republican trend of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. That would begin with the Affordable Care Act’s reinstatement. But let’s call it what it ought to be called, “Obamacare.” The last sensible president we had should enjoy that nickname which was formerly imposed on the Affordable Care Act as a term of derision by Republicans. Republicans did everything in their power to deprive truly essential people from enjoying……health security. A European style health system would have been a great improvement over the terribly expensive but incompetent medical coverage we get from the patchy private and corporate health insurance bequeathed to us by leader’s who conflated socialism with Stalinism.