Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Class Warfare

The people who say we must restart the economy, damn the cost in lives:

The billionaire Tom Golisano was smoking a Padron cigar on his patio in Florida on Tuesday afternoon. He was worried.

“The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is could be worse than losing a few more people,” said Golisano, founder and chairman of the payroll processor Paychex Inc. “I have a very large concern that if businesses keep going along the way they’re going then so many of them will have to fold.”

Are uniformly wealthy.  Which is not to say they have the most to lose:

Billionaires and other members of the elite have the luxury of social distancing while making money. The ones who want workers back in their jobs say they’re aiming to stop millions from suffering for years and falling further into debt. Officials are trying to accomplish that by restricting foreclosures and allowing Americans to defer mortgage payments.
Jim Conway was a server in an Olive Garden in Pennsylvania until it closed about two weeks ago. He’s been out of work and isn’t getting paid while his application for unemployment benefits gets processed.

“Being an older worker, I’m in no hurry to go back in the middle of an epidemic,” Conway, 63, said. “Being a server means you’re in contact with lots of different people, and puts you at bigger risk of getting infected. I’m kind of glad they closed when they did.” He wants the outbreak under control before the restaurant reopens, but worries that politicians and businesses tend to focus on their bottom line before people like him.

“They’ve never really had our interests at heart,” he said. “And now would be a weird time to start.”

But it's money that matters:

Dick Kovacevich, who ran Wells Fargo & Co. until 2007, wants to see healthy workers below about 55 or so to return to work late next month if the outbreak is under control. “We’ll gradually bring those people back and see what happens. Some of them will get sick, some may even die, I don’t know,” said Kovacevich, who was also the bank’s chairman until 2009. “Do you want to suffer more economically or take some risk that you’ll get flu-like symptoms and a flu-like experience? Do you want to take an economic risk or a health risk? You get to choose.”

When it comes down to it, for some people, money is life.  Don't lose track of that. To these people, life without money is simply unimaginable.  I live across a freeway (as in, immediately across) from some of the richest neighbhorhoods in America.  The general practice of people from the other side of the road is that everyone on this sides wants their money; not their lives, just their money.  But life without money?  They seem to think that a fate worse than death, and to imagine those of us with quite a bit less money than they have must be destitute, desperate, and greedy for what the other side of the freeway enjoys.

It's money that matters.  We're seeing that quite starkly.  I wonder if this will be what the coronavirus changes in America.

1 comment:

  1. The difference between serving God and Mammon on stark display. Let's hope enough of the Trumpers realize that the headline should read Trump Billionaires to The People - Drop Dead.