During the COVID crisis we need confidence, transparency, effectiveness from our leaders and media. Why is the stock market being pumped for the 1% while unemployment runs out? Where has $50 trillion gone over the last few decades? What is being revealed?
Image: Man reading a newspaper in Hong Kong. What messages are our leaders giving today?
Instill Confidence Not Fear
A societal systems’ functionality is built on the integrity of its leaders. Particularly in times of challenge and chaos, having leaders who give the people of their country truthful and helpful information while avoiding any political squabbling shows functionality. It provides a sense of calm that is needed during times of crisis. We look to our leaders to instill confidence, not fear. Promoting messages of fear that invoke “the sky is falling” is an effort to control society and is irresponsible. What continues to be brought to light is that the vast majority of politicians are ruled by their ego and need for control. Our government is erupting in corruption and it affects our ability of trust and confidence. It seems as though there are very few people in government like Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Martin Luther King, Jr or John Lewis, who genuinely care for the best interest of the the public. Confidence in our leaders is needed more than ever during these times.
Again, to have functionality within a societal system, what is needed are calm and direct leaders who give truthful information to what is happening, honest probable causes, and an idea of where things are going. Also needed is for the leader to be surrounded by a team of skilled experts and not their most loyal lackeys. Varied input is crucial to determining optimal solutions that work for everyone.
In the end, we the people must elect just and caring leaders who have their best interest on the people for whom they serve, rather than corporations. We must become our own leaders.
We Need an Economic Hiccup: Take Care of Main Street Before Wall Street
The public health suffering going on is significant. It is also causing hardship for all but the 1 percent of society. The best economic solution is simple and might even avoid the corporate bailouts. I call it an Economic Hiccup: Suspend debt and rent during the crisis for families and small businesses. Families do not pay rent or mortgages, but do pay utilities. Banks do not charge principal or interest on loans. All families and individuals, making under $100,000 receive a quick direct payment boost. In the mean time, unemployment and SNAP benefits are doubled and do not expire during the crisis until reasonable economic recovery, probably a year later. If families have money, they will spend it with the corporations. Maybe postpone corporate debit payments at the same time.
The printing of large sums of new money for the masses known as “helicopter money” is a bad idea for several reasons, but mainly because we have better alternatives. Properly fund unemployment and expand it to 1099 contractors. Fund and expand SNAP benefits. The above safety nets are in place, but they just need to be fully funded and expanded to help all those in need.
To make a bad situation worse, $1,200 checks are delayed so they can be printed with President Trump’s name on them.
Nordic countries are taking a different approach. In the face of the pandemic, Denmark is effectively nationalizing private payrolls, in contrast to the patchwork American system. Read more.
Need Fiscally Sound Government: 1% and Corporations Are Not Paying Their Share
We have to keep the federal government fiscally sound. However, total U.S. debt now exceeds the size of the entire economy. Short-term fixes will not solve our current problems and will make the our overall financial problems worse. There have been several recent huge bailouts. Look at these in relation to the $2 trillion total federal budget:
- One trillion for the Iraq war.
- One trillion for the 2008 corporate bailouts and stimulus.
- 3-4 trillion for Trump’s wealth tax cut frivolously sprint on corporate stock buy-backs instead of increasing wages and productivity.
- Two plus and another 3-4 trillion for the Coronavirus with most going to corporations that can borrow their own money from banks anyway. For example, companies as large as 500 employees can plunder the Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans.
- Trillions more to artificially pump the stock market for the 1% while the rest of the economy crashed. We should all be furious at the orange man as president, the Federal Reserve and the 1%.
Overnight, the federal government has 7-8 trillion in unfunded spending, compared to a total budget of 2 trillion dollars. This is how nations go bankrupt, then our safety nets collapse and no benefits flow.
Money is going out but it is not coming in. The wealthy are not paying their share of taxes and the government is slipping into insolvency.
Remember one thing, the American people are going to have to pay the two trillion Coronavirus Stimulus back.
Trump has no sense of the value of money. He has probably lost 1/2 to 2/3rds of the money he inherited by illegally avoiding taxes and running casinos into the ground. Wealthy Senate Republicans are just arms for the corporations seeking to profit from the open federal purse and human suffering during Coronavirus crisis. These crooks now want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act when the American people need healthcare the most.
The Largest Robbery in History – $50 Trillion
Over the past several decades extreme income inequality has stolen a staggering $50 trillion has been stolen by the top 1% from American workers. Since 1974, the top 1% has stolen $1,144 a month. Every month. Every single year from the 90%.
The cumulative tab for our four-decade-long experiment in radical inequality had grown to over $47 trillion from 1975 through 2018. At a recent pace of about $2.5 trillion a year, that number we estimate crossed the $50 trillion mark by early 2020.
Build a Modern National Healthcare System
Start with a new Health Care of All (HCA) retroactively February 1, 2020. Every American gets full health, vision and dental care now, period.
It is sad that medical industry greed and governmental complicity have put us here: completely unprepared for this crisis. With the wealth of our nation, there is no excuse that millions who need healthcare the most have no care at all, while medical companies make billions off the backs of the people. America is the easiest country to go bankrupt from unexpected medical bills because the politicians care more for corporate campaign contributions than their people.
Countries who have smart and effective national health insurance systems, such as South Korea and Taiwan, are already getting over the Coronavirus peak while the U.S. is playing catch-up. Instead of closing large swaths of the country like Europe and the United States. South Korea uses its national healthcare system to monitor patients via phone apps. [Video]
We did not mobilize in advance to add hospital and medical supply capacity while we had a quarter of a year to do it. The President’s 2018 disbanding of the National Security Council’s unit focused on pandemic preparedness makes no sense and has left us with a leadership void when we need it the most. Now, America is going to have to pay double to buy what we can from other countries, such as China, who despise us because of our trade wars. Millions of Americans, as well as our economy, are going to suffer tremendously because of incompetent leadership.
Rebuild Cooperation: Solemnly Apologize To The World
America has harmed so many nations and millions of people in so many ways. From trade wars, to sanctions, to real wars, America has become the world’s top gangster. To disparage an island of neighbors just off the coast of Florida because they are not Capitalists is selfish. Apologies and the rebuilding of cooperation is needed.
Our elites do not seem to understand that we will need those who we bully as our allies in the future. Who knows more about how to treat the Coronavirus and can produce more medical supplies than China? How many American lives will it cost because we will not cooperate with the rest of the world to develop a virus vaccine and treatments? Will nations we have sanctioned repeatedly unintentionally reinfect America later with a second or third wave because we have devastated their economies? Remember, this crisis is not over until the COVID-19 virus is under control world wide. Otherwise we will just keep passing it back and forth.
Being the world’s arms dealer, America owes the mother of all solemn apologies to the entire world for causing and perpetuating un-ending war. Shut down the Military. It is a vampire suck of nearly half the entire federal budget and causing the huge deficit. Having a military teaches a class of people that it is socially acceptable to murder. America does not have the medical care resources it needs to save lives from the Coronavirus because we squandered our money on bombs to kill people.
Repair Our Society
Read the Culturequake essay, Healthy Society Should Not Have To Be A Utopian Ideal.
Americans will never have honor, regardless of how we persevere in struggle, until we restore the continent to its original landscape, species and people. We must indigenate Americans to be Americans. The Coronavirus is a wakeup call that we must work with nature and not domesticate or exploit her. Harmony with all life is the way.
Connected And Love Your Neighbor: From Beth Brown
Amidst the chaos and fear that is spreading just as fast as the virus itself, we are being gifted with the lesson of going inward to reflect and to realize that we are not separate beings from each other or Mother Earth; we are all profoundly connected. We will get through this by buying into love, rather than the fear. Lifting each other up by spreading love and random acts of kindness during this time is just as infectious as the virus and far more beneficial; plus, acts of kindness also boost our immune system. Some of the things we can do to help neighbors during this time are as simple as giving a smile and a wave as we pass each other on the street; checking to see if our vulnerable neighbors have what they need for their well-being; donating blood; sharing with someone in our lives what we appreciate about them; donating to food banks; buying a gift card from a local business to give to help keep them in business; basically, just being a loving and kind human. Building a strong human connection with each other in whatever ways we can during these times will help us get through this together as a global community.
Post Editor, Beth Brown — Beth is a lifestyle writer and former assistant news editor of the Easley Progress. She graduated from Columbia College with a focus on Writing and Public Affairs. She is also a singer/songwriter/musician, yogi, activist and Love Warrior for Mother Earth.
[Image 1] A man reads a newspaper in Hong Kong, March 2017. Dagmar Schwelle / laif/ Redux.
[Image 2] Jabin Botsford. The Washington Post Via Getty Images.
 The New York Times. The Nordic Way to Economic Rescue. March 28, 2020. Peter S. Goodman.
 Wikipedia. 2017–18 United States flu season.
 Wikipedia. Motor vehicle fatality rate in U.S. by year.
 COVID-19 [BBC Interview] South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (강경화)