Increased awareness of the positive things governments can do may be a silver lining of the pandemic

Homepage | Forums | Main Forums | General Discussion | Increased awareness of the positive things governments can do may be a silver lining of the pandemic

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #426500
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 22,105

      I think it’s safe to say that the Covid pandemic, and how it affected everything from people’s daily lives and put different political economy models on full display, had a significant global impact on how people perceive their own societies. I’ll mention a few international examples and then focus on the United States.

      The Europeans had their issues and problems responding to the pandemic,  but no government there allowed closures to crush a third of of its economy or allowed people to become homeless over it. The Chinese response was hardcore lockdown, but it worked pretty well. Russia took a hit, but at least they can look at the United States and know they’re better off than we are as far as governmental pandemic-handling goes. India, with a government that’s a darling of the Democratic neoliberal elite, is a fucking disaster.

      The American federal government fucked up its response from the start, first denying there was a problem and telling us not to wear masks, then swinging to the opposite extreme while refusing to nationalize payrolls or offer UBI or health care to tens of millions of people who really needed help, though it made damned sure the financial elites wouldn’t even see their stock values plummet. But it did do some things, and those things may well have very important political repercussions in the near future.

      Most Americans got $1800 under Trump and $1400 under Biden, and for maybe a hundred million or so of us those payments had a big positive financial impact. Tens of millions got enhanced unemployment benefits that gave them a greater, and steadier, income than the shit gig and service sector jobs they were working before their employers were shut down. The federal government also funded a successful effort to get effective vaccines delivered to more than half of us, for free, just about a year after all hell broke lose in March 2020.

      Plus, eviction moratoriums prevented tens of millions of people from being both unemployed and homeless.

      What all these things have in common is that they had, and often still do have, substantial positive material impacts on people’s lives, and they know it. Americans have been reminded, or have seen for the first time, what the federal government can do for them when its leaders decide they want to act on for their benefit. The old Reaganite mantra of Big Government = Bad Government has been proven to be manifestly false.

      In general, Americans have been forced to re-evaluate what’s really important for them, and for millions who were suddenly limited to their families and a few close friends for social contact, the lesson learned was that work for the sake of survival isn’t absolutely necessary when the government gives two shits. As the recent whining from the service sector over people refusing to go back to slave-wage conditions shows, a lot of people are very resistant to returning to the hectic, chaotic conditions of “flexible schedules” on the whim of employers or to the financial roulette wheels of life in the gig economy.

      People have been able to work from home and they like it. They don’t want to be forced back into the office where they are directly under the thumb of their employers. They don’t want to have to pay for unnecessary transportation costs, or to waste their precious time commuting.

      Americans who have become used to the eviction moratoriums, up to at least 30 million of them, won’t take kindly to help being suddenly abandoned and sheriff’s deputies coming to their doors. We may even see sheriff’s departments refusing to carry out evictions in many places. If Biden’s stupid enough, or corrupt enough, to allow a massive wave of evictions to happen later this year.

      Which he probably is. He can easily prove me wrong, but he hasn’t exactly been in that habit since he was inaugurated. (That may be the biggest understatement I’ve made in awhile.) Whatever happens, if the federal government actively screws people over by removing the pathetically teenie-weenie itsy-bitsy help it is providing now and then starts moralizing about the duty to grovel for any shit job that becomes available, I don’t think Americans will stand for it.

      And that’s a good thing in the long run. It might even save the planet. Given just how corrupt our federal government, and most of our state governments, are, I have a funny feeling that we’re going to find out just how right, or wrong, I am about this in just a couple of years, if not a lot sooner.

      Thanks for reading and hope you get a paid day off tomorrow, or at least have a good grilling to go to. I know I do, right in my own back yard.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #426504
      djean111
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 6,729

      What the pandemic has shown to me is exactly how uncaring and capitalistic whore and corrupt our government is.  IMO, Covid, for BOTH parties, was never more than a political opportunity and a chance to make the corporations more and more money.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

      • #426531
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 22,105

        I just think a lot more people agree with you now than they did a year and a half ago, simply because the life lessons on that subject have been so sharp.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #426513
      jbnw
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 6,655

      as well as showing what the US and state governments won’t do . . .

      • #426533
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 22,105

        Trump, Fauci, Biden, the Squad, Pelosi, Schumer, the Turtle, the corporate media, 50 different state governors and legislatures, all of them, have shown the ability of governments to either protect or exploit their own people, and have often done both at the same time.

        That caused massive cognitive dissonance. I don’t know how many times I heard people talking about Covid policies and agreeing that they didn’t make any sense, that they were rationally contradictory. And they were and still are.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #426564
      PolecatHollerer
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,371

      .

      If you give a man enough rope, it will be six inches too short. This is not the nature of rope- it is the nature of man.

    • #426572
      MistaP
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,082

      the officials basically say they support the project in private, but they’re on record publicly as having opposed it–so if the project goes through, people will ride it, like it, and ask WHY they didn’t have this 10 years earlier

      iow the honorable councilmembers would be out on their asses

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.