[New Republic, Naked Capitalism 3-19-20]
Franklin Roosevelt used the Public Works Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration, so that the federal government directly hired millions of people to give them a steady paycheck. Today, the federal government should be hiring millions of people and begin teaching them how to care for people that are ill with COVID19, or how to manufacture medical equipment, or how to operate emergency food distribution.
Why is there no discussion of the federal government building new emergency hospitals, or building new manufacturing plants to make ventilators, face masks, and other medical equipment? Why is there no discussion of the federal government seizing control of any drug company or medical device manufacturer or producer or seller of handiwipes that tries to take advantage of this crisis to price gouge? Because people have been indoctrinated with the idea that such a direct government role in the economy is bad. What we’re about to find out is, that idea is what’s bad. Another example of how our unquestioned economic ideology limits our options.
This Slate article documents a number of the changes which have been made just in America, like how for people being thrown in jail for minor offenses, “San Antonio is one of many jurisdictions to announce that, to keep jails from being crowded with sick citizens, they’ll stop doing that. Why were they doing it in the first place?” Or how “Trump has instructed government agencies who administer loans to waive interest accrual for the duration of the crisis. But why on earth is our government charging its own citizens interest anyway?”
My brother got laid off yesterday from Marriott.— thot leedurr (@DocDre) March 17, 2020
He applied for unemployment; they called to check his employment status.
Marriott HR says he’s NOT laid off but on a ZERO hour schedule. So he can’t qualify for unemployment NOR does he have health insurance.