Mike Ludwig at TruthOut reminds us that "Years of Austerity Weakened the Public Health Response to Coronavirus." I still hear right-wingers tell us that "a government that can do anything for you can do anything to you," but of course we have a government that can't deliver a coronavirus test (let alone a vaccine!) with the appropriate speed but can still spy on all of us. And no, private sector charity is no match for a government delivering the services we pay for with our taxes -- if it were, why do we have over 30 million uninsured where so many other nations have zero?
The incomparable Rick Perlstein reviews Nicholas Lemann's The Transaction Man, and in doing so explores "how finance broke the modern corporation." Long story short: "(t)he control of corporations has become separated from their ownership" -- which actually worked out well during the post-New Deal boom, as shareholders-without-power mushroomed and executives "could be persuaded to act in socially responsible ways that oligarchs would not," but as the post-New Deal boom ended and executives decided that only profits mattered, they took on ever-more exotic forms of debt, gave banksters more power, and leveled communities. Also, too, Silicon Valley won't save us -- it might be too much to hope that it merely doesn't make everything worse.
I hate talking about our self-absorbed drama king of a President, I really do, but occasionally we should remind ourselves that he's not only a liar, but a liar whose lies can be easily disproven by a few minutes of googling. Case in point: he's lately said he didn't know he'd cut funding for the CDC paramedic team back in 2018, but actual video evidence exists showing him talking about why he'd done just that. This is why our Founders put restraints on Presidential power: because sooner or later you'll get someone who only cares about himself and cares nothing about morals or values or our shared heritage as Americans. (I've a bone to pick with them about the Electoral College, though, since it seems to work in more or less the opposite manner they intended.)
Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati wonder whether why coronavirus crisis must "Result in a Wealthier Wealthy." Listening to our President show such concern for the airline corporations -- who did, after all, spend $45 billion on freaking stock buybacks over the last decade, so why do they need a bailout now? -- and hearing about all the "burdensome" regulations banksters which actually help prevent them from taking our economy down, you no doubt wonder the same thing. Of course, we also call for things like paid family leave and moratoria on evictions and water shutoffs in a time of crisis, but these things would actually help people survive, versus help CEOs guild the plumbing in their 19th vacation home. And why "federal loan guarantees" for corporations but not guarantees of employment for displaced workers? I mean, they're both "socialism," so you might as well do things that work.
Finally, in a related note, Sen. Ron Johnson (E-WI) worries that too much coronavirus stimulus will, get this, "incentiviz(e) people not to show up for work." He seems unworried about folks who soon won't have a work to show up to, let alone the folks who aren't "showing up" because they don't want to kill other people with their illness, and of course he's completely silent on whether all the corporate welfare in the coronavirus stimulus bill will make big corporations lazy! As with our President, morals and values are for little people like us, not big people like him. Ron Johnson: he gives the citizen legislator a bad name.