By Red Corbeau (April 19, 2020)
It is difficult to argue for a ‘stay at home’ strategy to limit the deaths when so many unemployed people are now wondering where the money is going to come from for food and rent. I understand the temptation to deny the severity of this pandemic and, out of fear, clamor for an immediate re-opening of the economy.
What would make ‘sheltering in place’ more workable for the long term would be:
-to provide adequate and welcoming shelters for those who don’t have them; strengthen and expand the social safety net, including a people’s bailout of at least $2,000.00 a month or more for each household (we know the money is there – and remember? collectively we created all that wealth now held by so few), at least until the pandemic passes (I’d rather see this part of the “bailout” continued);
-across the board forgiveness of debt;
-and a moratorium on rent at least until people can safely return to work.
-We need to also recognize that the entire planet is connected, and unless we want to see the pandemic recurring, we need coordinated international efforts.
All of these things have been proposed, but none of them are likely to happen under this Administration (and maybe the next). So the growing fear of destitution and impoverishment has already been mobilized by the powers that be for a disastrously early “reopening” of the economy, and as the pandemic continues, people are more and more caught between the proverbial rock and hard place.
We should be protesting for a People’s Bailout, rather than for the chance to die or kill others to make money for the oligarchy. Ultimately, of course, we need to create a people’s economy that works for all of us.