It Took a Pandemic to Show Us That......

implement a national response. But for a directorate to be effective, it can’t be disbanded and that for its playbook to be of any value at all, it has to be utilized and not ‘shelved‘ as it was by the current administration.

     It took a pandemic to show us that we need a more equal and altruistic society - Unbridled (unregulated?) capitalism can be cruel if driven by greed, self-dealing, and criminal intent. Putting profits ahead of just about everything (i.e. “the ends justifies the means”) does not always work out for most of us and is often unethical, immoral, or outright illegal. It has allowed for a level of inequality to grow over the years and the end result is staggering. Studies show that households in the top one per cent owned considerably more wealth than the bottom ninety-nine per cent combined, not just “almost as much” as one former Democratic Presidential candidate once stated.
     We need to blend in the positive elements of socialism to act as a ‘public conscience’ to those who may have lost sight of humanity in their quest for more money, property, and privilege. We have many examples of how it has worked for us. Look at Social Security, public education, unemployment compensation, social programs like Welfare, SNAP, CHIP, WIC, etc. which benefit the general populace, the elderly, the young and the less fortunate. Now if health care was provided in a similar manner and not tied to one’s employment, then those impacted by any unexpected period of unemployment, the problem wouldn’t be compounded by the loss of one’s health care, especially during a serious health crisis.
     Now we know who the real essential workers are in this country. They are doctors, medical/health care workers, those that teach our children, delivery truck drivers, those that prepare/deliver our food, grocery store and gas station attendants. Certainly not the many over-compensated corporate executives, reality TV hosts, or most politicians who seem unwilling to do no work at all.
     Now is the time to show them, not with lawn signs, clapping, cheering, and shouting out your windows every night at 7PM, but with a wage better than the $7.25/hour federal minimum. We need to support their demand for proper compensation for their value   And it is long-overdue.
     Between 1979 and 2015, Labor Department statistics showed that the weekly earnings of the median American worker rose ten dollars in inflation-adjusted terms. That’s right: a rise of ten dollars over thirty-six years! However. during that same period, corporate profits and compensation paid to senior corporate executives had, in a word, skyrocketed. A 1980 analysis by the Washington-based Economic Policy , showed that a typical C.E.O. earns about thirty times as much as typical workers and by 2015, that ratio was close to three hundred to one. And it is only getting worse. Income inequality has risen toward levels not seen since the nineteen-twenties!

     It took a pandemic to show us that we all need to be better-informed and closely monitor what our leaders are saying (and doing) - Social media should never be considered a primary (or even secondary!) source of information at any time, especial during a serious pandemic, when accurate information and facts are required to make critical decisions. Easily manipulated, website designs with familiar-looking graphics and official-looking logos can make misinformation and outright lies appear legitimate (see The Almanack’s 2012 article, INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET - BEWARE! at www.almanack.com/internet-information). Some cable news outlets are guilty of echoing misinformation, falsehoods, and outlandish conspiracy theories which only amplifies them. There must be some accountability for disseminating misinformation that misleads the American people, possibly putting them in danger (or worse, killing them!). We should NEVER tolerate it when leaders are willing to sacrifice the



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