By admin | April 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Coronavirus Reveals Health And Income Inequality:

As the coronavirus cases have increased and the numbers of those dying skyrocket certain things become abundantly clear in the United States:

#1 Not only is there a major issue with health care in general but the lack of health care in communities of color is contributing to much higher mortality rates.

#2 Tens of millions of people have lost their health care because it was tied to their jobs.

#3 Even a minimum wage of $15 per hour isn’t enough to afford even a basic living in the United States and paying people less than this while they are risking their lives to keep everyone else alive is an insult on top of it.

#4 While individuals are being told they should have been better prepared multi-billion dollar corporations are saying they need a bailout after a couple of weeks with no income.

I could go on about some other issues such as how the stock market’s valuation being revealed for being way too high, the real estate bubble that is about to pop, and the bank failure that is going to take us into another Great Depression, but those subjects are for another article. So, let’s take number one. According to data coming out of places like Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans. According to a recent article from NPR, about 1 in 3 people who become sick enough to require hospitalization from COVID-19 were African American, according to hospital data from the first month of the U.S. epidemic released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronavirus Deaths by Race Even though 33% of those hospitalized patients were black, African Americans constitute 13% of the U.S. population. By contrast, the report found that 45% of hospitalizations were among white people, who make up 76% percent of the population. And 8% of hospitalizations were among Hispanics, who make up 18% of the population. These statistics prove that the U.S. is woefully undeserving minorities and especially African Americans. This is an issue that the next president must address immediately. I say the next president because we know that the current president is a racist who could care less about higher mortality rates among African Americans and is more concerned with opening the economy back up than preventing loss of life.

Secondly, the loss of health care that was tied to jobs is a travesty, this again proves that Senator Bernie Sanders has been right all along. Health insurance should not be linked to one’s job and it is past time for the U.S. to get on par with the rest of the civilized world and stop placating health insurance companies. In all of the recent primary exit polls the majority of Americans have expressed support for Medicare for All.

As of the date of this post, over 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment and there are tens of millions more that are laid off that have not applied yet. No one knows how much longer the shut down will last and many businesses will not survive it no matter how many loans the government throws at the issue. In addition, we are going to see record foreclosures and mortgage companies failing due to this crisis. We have yet to begin seeing the long term damage being caused by this event.

On the third issue I listed, a living wage, there should be no argument from anyone. The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised since 2009, the longest stretch in history that the minimum wage hasn’t been increased. Even a $15 minimum wage cannot cover basic living expenses in many places in the country for even one person, let alone a family. Adjusted for inflation and production, the minimum wage today should be well over $20 per hour. Plans to raise the minimum wage incrementally will not cut it either, every year the cost of living and inflation increase, eroding any possible benefit.

As the economy recovered from the economic downturn in the late 2000s, the richest Americans have only gotten wealthier, while nearly everyone else has gotten poorer. And under the Trump administration, income inequality has gotten even worse. Compensation for CEOs has skyrocketed, while minimum wage workers in many states now need to work at least two full-time jobs to make a living. There must be an increase in the minimum wage to an actual living wage. This was FDR’s goal, not a wage that no one can live on.

Lastly, we see many on the right stating that people who don’t have savings are being financially irresponsible. How in the hell are people supposed to have savings when they aren’t even making enough money to survive in the first place? About one third of the U.S. population lives at or near the poverty level and includes nearly 50% of the children of the country. Reference:

So, why are individuals being told they are financially irresponsible because they cannot go a week without a paycheck while corporations are begging for yet another bailout? In my opinion, if these corporations cannot manage their finances better then they need to be taken over by someone who can. They shouldn’t be allowed to use taxpayer dollars to buy their own stock as the airlines did with the last bailout. This time if they need money they should sell stock and dilute their ownership and control of their companies. The same applies to fossil fuel companies. They have enjoyed government subsidies and returns over 1000% per year for decades, it is time for them to diversify or die. Cruise lines shouldn’t even be in the conversation, they are foreign registered, hire mostly foreign nationals, send their profits offshore and pay zero in taxes.

We need leaders in government that take care of the people of this country first. The coronavirus crisis is demonstrating that capitalism cannot exist without the labor of the people and the economy cannot survive without the people spending money in it. If you want a strong economy then you cannot have over a third of the country living near poverty and half the country a paycheck away from being in the street. The key to a strong economy is paying people enough to have discretionary income to spend.

Giving more money to the wealthy to stash in offshore tax havens does nothing for the economy. It’s time to roll back the tax cuts for the wealthy enacted by Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and Trump and return to a higher marginal tax rate like we had before. Cutting the top marginal tax rate is what created billionaires and increased poverty and income inequality. Billionaires do not make the economy stronger, neither does having a hundred million people living in poverty.

In closing let me say this. We cannot go back to the way things were. People are saying we need a return to normalcy. There is nothing normal about people living in poverty without health care, we need a change now and it is time they people demand it, not accept more of the same.

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