The onset of a pandemic is exposing a lot of vulnerability in our society and economy. The stock market has been trashed in a couple of weeks. The bond market, usually a safe haven in times when the market is being wrecked has revealed how much it is over extended on near junk bond corporate debt. American corporations have binged on debt in the last several years and the bond market has been less than prudent in my opinion. A lot of this added debt was used to buy back shares and prop up share prices in the absence of earnings that would do the same. Bankers used to be careful with other people’s money, but not so much now days.
Our central banking system, the Federal Reserve has quickly exhausted its resources. There is not a lot left that the Fed can do for the economy. Trump never understood that the Federal Reserve has never recovered from fighting the 2008-09 Great Recession. He acts like a real estate developer that just wants to work on somebody else’s money, and the paying back is never a consideration. I think Trump’s multiple bankruptcies make this argument for me.
Many Americans work for an hourly wage and do not have any paid sick leave benefits. Many of these same perform essential services for all of us, and we know they do. Too many in this country cannot make it from paycheck to paycheck. So often, I hear it is their fault they did not make more of themselves, yet we have trashed the dignity of work in the last 30 years or so as we have drank the kool-aide of “trickle down economics.” We have worshipped at the altar of business and labor has been just a commodity that when possible, we find overseas for less cost.
Well, I don’t like any of this. I don’t like how little we value the dignity of work. I do not like how little we value the needs of a family and providing for their well-being. I do not like that the biggest single cause of bankruptcy in this country is a health care crisis. I don’t like that Americans have to work in jobs that do not pay a living wage. I do not like that we have skewed our wealth to the top of the pyramid.
After the war (WWII) it was not like this here, and America built a great middle class. We educated many with GI Bill benefits and we grew an economy that was the envy of the world. The jobs were here, not overseas. We actually made good things here.
Yes, this corona virus is exposing so many of our misplaced priorities. Our leaders have made too many choices that have benefited just the few and the powerful. We get sucked in with all kinds of slogans and culture war campaigns, but that is not the real battle. That is just smoke and mirrors. The looting of the country to just benefit a few is what we are not all seeing.
And, then along comes a national emergency like the corona virus. And the Republican Senate cannot bring themselves to cover American workers that lack paid sick leave as a benefit. Well, Moscow Mitch, I expect you are proud in a perverse way. All that you do Moscow Mitch, will always be perverse, but it will for sure benefit you, your place of power, and the GOP.
Sorry for the long ramble here. This pandemic is revealing a bigger story than itself. Hardly seems possible, but it is.