Featured Image: Daria Shevtsova
COVID-19 has become a worldwide pandemic that has exposed the fragility and dysfunctional nature of the American capitalist system, a system that many Americans already knew was unsustainable. Even more so, it has exposed the system’s willingness to risk the lives and well-being of the working class in order to save the stock market, which the establishment has used to define the economy.
It’s been clear from the establishment’s actions that they do not care about the working class. The senate’s stimulus bill helps bail out massive corporations while taxpayers are given a one-time payment of $1,200 for the next four months, a payment that will also be taxed. Many have noted that a single payment will not help cover rent, utilities, bills, and other payments, leaving the working class to suffer.
The most revealing clue that working-class people are nothing but sacrificial lambs came when Fox News commentators suggested that it’d be a reasonable viewpoint to expect grandparents to die to protect the economy. And as the federal government passes the stimulus bill that is meant to help taxpayers, both the GOP and establishment Democrats agree on one thing: they must help the stock market to keep the economy alive.
What they do not understand (or just flat out deny) is that the stock market is not the economy. The working class is. Thus, to save the economy, they must save the working class.
COVID-19 may have been the wake-up call the country needed. As the pandemic began to gain coverage and the public’s attention, the country’s very infrastructure has come to a halt. Capitalism needs production, and yet there is no production when millions are required to stay home for their safety. Yes, there are many who are currently working remotely from home. But millions are part-time workers with two to three jobs working in retail, service, etc., just to make ends meet. How convenient that almost overnight did “low skilled” workers in groceries and restaurants suddenly became “essential” workers on the front lines. That sharp shift in the narrative only goes to show that these workers were never given the respect and wages they deserved. It’s only now that it’s clear they are the ones keeping the economy alive.
And that is the point. It’s the working class, the ones that produce the labor that capitalism feeds on, that must receive the help. The stock market is not representative of the economy. It is only a reflection of the value of corporations. It’s no surprise that the DOW went up when it was suggested that people should die for their economy. Capitalism is more than willing to have people die for their labor than sacrifice the labor itself.
But without those workers, without that production, without the labor it so depends on, the economy is nothing. Corporations, and rich people, provide nothing compared to the working class. If the working class is not given the help it needs right now, the economy will collapse.
Corporations are not the economy. Rich people are not the economy. The stock market is not the economy.
We are the economy. We are the ones you must save.