Monday, 27 April 2020

Social Justice COVID Classism

Regarding SJWs and coronavirus... Has anyone else noticed that we have created two classes of people here? Those whose health and lives we deem it acceptable to risk, and those who deserve total protection at the expense of the former? And that expense is not only in risk to health and life, mind you. It's also in the tax burden. Health workers (except in the US, and even that is complicated) are net tax consumers, not net tax contributors, so I'm sorry, they aren't the people who will inevitably foot the financial cost of this. White collar people who can work from home? They have the privilege of earning money while staying safe.

These groups are carrying their weight, but one is immune from the tax burden, the other immunized against the risks. But it is private sector workers who are deemed essential, many of them in low-wage jobs, who are bearing a double burden right now. My daughter is one of these, paying in both risk and taxes so that others can collect tax dollars and not face that risk. Every day she puts on her steel-toed boots, rides the bus to work, and unloads trucks at Walmart. And I'm sorry, but she'd rather have mandatory hazard pay, or her income taxes waived, or even a "coronavirus essential worker tax credit" than all the blathering and virtue signalling about how much everyone appreciates the courage and sacrifice of essential workers. Half our country is sitting on its asses (many of them involuntarily) being served by her labor and her tax dollars, all while the bill for this gets bigger and bigger. She's 23. She had inherited $30,000+ of government debt burden before she filled her first diaper. I shudder to think what that sum is now, or will be at the end of this.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not whining about it. I'm glad her work was deemed essential so she could remain employed, unlike my son. Honest work is good for the soul, and neither she nor I are particularly worried about her getting sick (she takes precautions, and is not in the demographics most at risk).

But I do think it's odd that every person on social media with preferred pronouns in their profiles appears to be supporting the lockdown and resisting lifting or easing it, despite the fact that it has created an arguably exploited underclass of high-risk, often low-paid workers who are essentially (pun intended) left carrying the entire bag for the rest of us.

To a great extent, the people in the US and Canada begging for restrictions to be eased are those who put in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. They know there is risk, they're willing to shoulder it, and the government is telling them no.

It is the elites who are telling us it's too soon, despite the fact that they've already deemed my daughter's life expendable because her work is vital in maintaining the very measures that are killing her future with a massive government debt load combined with an intentionally annihilated economy that may take decades to recover.

It was mostly young, working age people who died during the Spanish flu pandemic.

With COVID, some 75% of the deaths are in people 65 and older, 50% in people 80 and older. The disastrous, long-lasting, perhaps permanent effects on the young, on our children and grandchildren, will not be inflicted by the virus.

They will be inflicted by us.

52 comments:

  1. It's not only the "essential workers" who are bearing the major risk. It is also those whom governments don't care about saving.

    For example, NY Gov Cuomo has ordered that the elderly who suffer from the virus not only be refused hospital admission, but be forced into nursing homes even if the homes are full of vulnerable, uninfected people, who then die in droves as a result. He needs to go on trial for murder.

    The main lessons to be learned here, in my opinion: (1) Neither government nor media have your best interest at heart. They will kill you at the drop of a hat if it supports their quest for more power. (2) Arm yourself and stay that way, because if you aren't this week's scapegoat you will be next week's.

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  6. Mmmm...it's a bit more complex than that.

    Yes, some privileged folks, who can work from home, are calling for the lockdown to continue. I'm one of them.

    And I'm sure some low-paid workers, who can't work from home, want the lockdown to be partially lifted.

    Here's the thing: At least south of the border, here in the US of A, the main institutional support for unemployed people is unemployment benefits -- which are conditioned on being available for work.

    And under those circumstances -- not expected to change in the immediate future -- businesses' and some workers' freedom to re-open is other workers' being forced to choose between food on their table and a roof over their heads, and relative safety from COVID-19.

    Keep in mind that in many of these jobs, social distancing is not an option and masks may not be a practical option.

    Also keep in mind that some of these workers are anything but privileged. We're talking about retail folks, waiters/waitresses, etc.

    Finally, keep in mind that some young people do die from COVID-19...and some of those who survive it, have permanent lung, kidney, brain and/or other organ damage.

    Not to mention any young person who gets COVID-19 can spread it to others, until it eventually hits an older or otherwise at-risk person.

    So, I'd say at least the working classes are divided on this one.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/30/republican-states-unemployment-benefits/

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  7. It's been ages since the lives of some workers were considered expendable and others were able to profit safely in the expense of the former. Covid 19 created nothing new. Nowadays profit really is not the product of work, but from investiments in the financial market, which are protected by the state and don't produce really anything useful for most people. I don't know how it is in Canada, but here in Brazil some companies implemented a program of firing 5 or 10 percent of the workers at the end of the year irrespectively of everyone's performace, so that everyone would work harder in fear of being the ones being fired. Your daughter will not be paid more for her sacrifice because she is considered expendable for the ones who really hold power. The hipocritical praise she receives from other poor people is part of the ideology that wants her to believe she is special, so she can continue to be treated as expendable. Poor people sacrificing themselves doesn't save the economy, the big money recently never passed through them. Even if you want to call her a hero, as her mother, you would also be hipocritical, because your recognition of her work will only maks the lack of recognition from society and the ones paying her. Even trump is putting a façade of moving to the left now because radical leftist politics are the only way to save the economy, and trump thinks nothing of workers, make no mistake.

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Commenting policy:

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