What’s wrong with this picture? Everything

Author: Gladwyn d'Souza | Category: Environment | Food | Health | Date: 05-30-2020


Really! We need to open the economy? It's the only thing that matters? The whole economic focus is very fascistic and the media has been silent. These trump fanatics are saying people must die without care because the deplorables need the poverty wages from the exploitive economy to pay their rent. They assume that the climate destroying worker decentralized toxic economy of the past is the best thing we can go back to. It's in critical need of being bailed out and saved.

That is  wrong on many levels. Workers should have bargaining rights over their safety and the ability to sue for safety violations- the Loser Of The Popular Vote can’t just order sick workers back on the Mad Cow Disease slaughter line. In a zoonotic pandemic no less! Wages should be fair and livable. The huge corporate bailouts in the stimulus package, on a per capita basis, if repurposed, work out to $13,000 per person or $52,000/- for my family of four which goes a long way toward paying for rent, food, and health care bills. We need a different economy that is more resilient locally so that PPE and masks are not contraband, difficult to exchange, when guns and cars are easier to obtain. Clean air, water and nutritious food must be basic civil rights along with Medicare For All. Because it’s in our common social interest to not spread the virus among our parents and grandparents. How we get to that level of a social safety net is a critical aspect of the care crisis visible today and our challenge for tomorrow.

Worse, the politicians who never gave a damn about minimum wages or living wages are now suddenly arguing for preventing poverty! They’ve exploited these workers before and are not speaking up against the horrible conditions they are being forced to work in by being tagged as essential. And the media is giving them credence under the rubric that the virus has created special conditions which needs old fashioned business to solve. The same old business that hasn’t figured out how to supply masks and ppe? Give me a break.

The story should be the 36 million who stayed sheltered in place and flattened the curve. The question should be why we flattened the curve and didn’t Zero The Curve. The focus should be on what’s happening in S. Korea, Taiwan, and even Germany toward controlling the impact of the virus on society and their economies. The media needs to say how those societies have zeroed the curve to illustrate that it’s doable and on a third world budget and that competent leadership can do wonders. Otherwise we are absolving our leadership of the moral consequences for the inability to use science and simple technology effectively. Everything that's wrong socially, economically, and environmentally is summarized in that picture. The media have given a bullhorn to the fanatics- they are engaging in fringe amplification. Write a letter to the editor.



Zoe Byun
I completely agree with all of the points made in this article. I think that these protests have really showcased the selfishness that many Americans have. Although I do understand that they want to continue making money to provide for their families, I think the public's health is far more ...Read more important. The corona virus has taken many lives and it is society's job to try and prevent more deaths. I also agree that we should take a look at how South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany's leaders have been controlling their country's people and economy because they are all great models of how America should attempt to zero the curve Less
Kylee Kim
I completely agree with the author's points. America is responsible for its citizens, but it's impossible for us to be kept safe, in a global pandemic no less, if they are not making long enough strides towards improvement. The unreliable system that many struggling citizens are forced ...Read more under, contribute to its own downfall during this pandemic and every day otherwise. Our nation's leaders have obviously shown little effort towards prevention in comparison to nations that have proven to be effective against this virus. While we should be taking steps to improve in the footsteps of places like S. Korea, Taiwan, and Germany, there instead is a lack of motivation towards keeping those restrictions to zero the curve. Less
Leo Lin
I agree. This cornoavirus lockdown has shown US many of it's bad features. It also shows that US has not been able to make sure that most of it's population have livable wages that keeps them clear from debt. It further more shows me that the heads of companies seem to care more about ...Read more profit and not about their individual workers leading to the inequality that we see today Less
Gladwyn d'Souza June 3, 2020 12:06 pm
Those are important observations. The living wage really stands out. I spent all day attending the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors meeting today. It started at 9:30 AM and I finally left at ...Read more 5:30 PM when it was half finished. What’s apparent is that all the issues they deal with such as child care, digital services access, rent control, nutrition, etc. are all related to not paying people sufficiently for the work they do. And the supervisors from the wealthier districts worried about the toxic economy and businesses instead of the issues that arise from not paying people a fair living wage. No American worker in their right mind will trust their employer to keep them safe from the virus and to provide health care if they get sick. That's going to be challenge going forward. Less
Tina Zeng
I definitely agree. It is a hypothetical blackhole of a thought spiral to wonder where we would be if the president of the USA were more concerned with the safety of US citizens than his Twitter account.
Gladwyn d'Souza June 3, 2020 12:18 pm
He's definitely a paranoid narcissistic who lives for the attention on twitter when the death toll from Covid-19 in the United States crossed the 100,000 mark. That’s more Americans who've ...Read more died than perished in the wars in Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq, and those killed by car and gun violence. But he is also a brutal racist protected by the Republican Senate who called for firing Colin Kaepernick over his peaceful protest, finds very fine people in violent southern segregationist, and then turns around and wants the army to suppress any protest Less
Tommy Zeng
I agree with some of the points the author has brought up, but at the same time, there are many things that she didn't talk about. The issue is a lot more complicated than she presented it to be. With the current protests regarding George Floyd's death, many violent riots have been looting ...Read more private businesses and have caused major damage. Less
Gladwyn d'Souza June 3, 2020 12:39 pm
You are right, would have to write a book to address everything. I was calling attention to the toxic climate changing economy and saying we should not be concerned with opening it. Instead we should ...Read more look at what changes would make us more resilient and safe such as localizing the production of mask and banning goods that are made with poverty waters. To your other point note that there is a huge disconnect between the issue of state brutality (i.e the sanctioned killing of George Taylor) and the perceived public response (i.e. the riots). The former represents the segregationist state against which we legitimately expect (the real response) both protest and public policy reform such as a state investigation of police murders (currently handled by the District Attorney who is in collusion with the police). The response to the latter, which you have elevated, ignores the human rights violations and instead substitutes property crimes as the defining element of the George Taylor response. This is wrong. There are already rules against property crimes- for example after the Vancouver Stanley Cup finals over 4000 people were charged because the police used video evidence to arrest rioters through their social media profiles. We should be cognizant not to lose sight of state brutality. We need to start seeing state violence against the rioters as a proxy for what should be happening which is reform that gets the DA to do his/her job on human rights and let the political process out. Less
Jake Kim
Couldn't have said this better. It's unjust for the government to not support the people to the fullest, as it encourages them to risk their lives just to make a living. This pandemic has definitely showcased the true colors of America and its leaders. America's excuse of "not being ...Read more able to follow successful nations due to a significantly larger population" cannot be justified until measures have been taken to truly prove it. And even if America cannot replicate the situation in S. Korea and Germany, it is unreasonable to say that taking the same measure will not improve the situation. It frustrates me how self-centered people remain even during such trying times Less
Gladwyn d'Souza June 3, 2020 12:53 pm
Your first point is excellent- what is the role of government if not to support the people to the fullest? How should people be kept safe in the workplace? These questions raise all kind of points ...Read more related to regulatory capture and why we have a plantation economy which allows the plantation owners to prosper at the expense of unregulated and unrepresented labor. To your second point China has shown that even a large nation can bring the virus to a halt with simple technology such as contact tracing and testing. To your third point- the media has a western point of view. They cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that south east Asia has both the ability and the leadership to tackle life and death problems successfully and in a timely manner. So we should be writing letters to the editors saying please pay attention to how the situation is being admirably handled in SE Asian democratic countries and don't let our politicians off the hook for killing Americans Less
Ryan Yang
D'Souza's point is valid and indisputable. It is clear that the United States should halt the loosening of restrictions. This point is reinforced as we see that the number of infected people has risen ever since governors have opened up parts of cities and counties. Right now, we are ...Read more unclear whether immunity is really the solution to overcoming this crisis, and, considering this, the United States should be patient as speeding up the reopenings of cities may rather result in further casualties and cause citizens to quarantine again, which may bring greater damages to the nation's economy. I think it is most important that we wait for the instructions of health experts to prevent any further crises. In addition, it is essential that we look at countries like South Korea and Germany who have managed the coronavirus pandemic with a more successful method to save the lives of many Americans. Less
Gladwyn d'Souza June 3, 2020 1:03 am
One of the lessons of the virus when we look at countries like S. Korea and Taiwan is that leadership matters. And leadership means the ability to coalesce decision making around science, sociology, ...Read more and epidemiology to arrest the diffusion of the virus. We should be making decisions from the best data we can assemble. We may make mistakes like S. Korea did in the beginning but we can quickly get back on track. Countries like the banana republics are behaving more like US with predictable results. Our job leading up to the elections is to articulate these distinctions clearly Less
Victor Wan
D'Souza makes a clear point about how the American media mainly focuses on how poorly the US handles the situation of a global pandemic. I particularly agree with his point about how guns and cars are more widely available and accessible to Americans than face masks and protective ...Read more equipment-items we need to stay safe and to prevent catching COVID. D'Souza highlights the fact that most people in the US struggle to make a living given their low wages, while companies focus on self-benefits and profit, declining the economy overall Less
Gladwyn d'Souza June 3, 2020 1:15 am
Oddly in this situation cars are more deadly than guns because they expand the scope of the virus by the tank of gasoline. For my Prius that's 350 miles. That means one individual can infect or ...Read more be infected in an area that extends from Mendocino to Reno and from Chico to Monterey. Only planes are worse. The wide availability and easy permitting of cars subsidizes the viral spread making it much more expensive to control. This is in contrast to cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo where cars are expensive to own and operate and where the virus has been effectively controlled. Less
Sue C.
Powerful critique that connects essential dots!

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