If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.
Mitch McConnell has taken the awesome responsibility of driving the poor back to their jobs. He has decided providing unemployment benefits would be an incentive to stay home and just let the economy collapse. He said, “to pay people more not to work than to work doesn’t encourage you to return to your job.”
He left unasked, why do people get so little pay that unemployment is such a windfall? He doesn’t seem worried about the terrible burden carried by these people when they have to sacrifice the luxurious vacation so thoughtfully furnished by the Senate and go back to work at the local salt mine. They are going to have to default on the Bentley.
We are provided a perfect opportunity to examine the way capitalism and the power provided by obscene wealth has caused. With the economy in shambles we can rebuild it to provide some equity, we can examine the wreckage and see the faults, fix them and provide safeguards, a living minimum wage, affordable health care, safe and accessible child care for working parents. We are looking at the chance to rebuild the American Dream.
Unfortunately, it seems we are going to let this golden opportunity slip away. Not good for profits, hell on shareholders who are living from dividend to dividend, we have to think about them, after all. This pandemic has been murder on profits. We can all be grateful that Senator McConnell has an eye on the bottom line.
Soon we can have all of those poor people back at work, cooking and serving our food, cleaning up after us, dry cleaning our suits. Buildings will sparkle through the magic of minimum wage, our elected officials will host fundraisers, and we will all think about how close it was to being fixed, how fixable it actually was.
These are the thoughts that need to drive our election choices next November. How bad things were and how much worse they became because they didn’t get any better. We chose not to learn from the mistakes. Our elected officials chose the status quo instead of the constituency.