By David Glenn Cox
They came to Washington to lobby Congress. Congress must raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. Congress must put together a stimulus package right away! Not your usual Left wing bleeding hearts but corporate America is grabbing the dashboard and screaming, “Oh God No!” Starbucks, McDonalds, and the murderers at Walmart see the future. Bernie Sander’s ran on a $15.00 an hour minimum wage four years ago and corporate America painted him as a red devil (Don’t they always?) Joseph Stalin returned from the grave and now corporate America pulls on his pant legs shouting, “Bernie! You gotta help us!”
The ill-fated Titanic only had watertight doors on the lower decks. Engineers presupposed if you have filled all those decks with water you are probably screwed anyway. Likewise, Unemployment Compensation, it can only do so much. Generally half or less than half of a worker’s take home pay it is a life vest not a lifeboat. Case in point, Colorado has gone from 18,000 unemployment claims per month to an astounding 214,000 cases per month. A state with less than six million people in it posting a 200,000 plus monthly unemployment claims, put away your calculators. The correct answer is disaster.
About a month ago, I wrote about living on the back road into my apartment complex and how my wife and I joked about all the pizza delivery vehicles on Friday night. I commented that I had only seen one vehicle that Friday and I haven’t seen another one since. You can buy frozen pizza with food stamps Dominoes wants cash money and you really don’t need to go to Starbucks when you don’t have a job. My poverty creates your poverty. In “The Grapes of Wrath,” it wasn’t just the farmers losing their land. It was also shop keepers and even Preachers losing their livelihood and questioning how they could be abandoned by the richest nation on earth.
Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are locked arm in arm against any direct stimulus. It’s easier to negotiate the price of a fire hose when the customer’s house is on fire. When you’re eating every day and they’re aren’t. The Party who claims that there was a war on Christmas introduces the Ebenezer Scrooge, Juvenile Crutch Tax Act of 2020. While state Republicans practice at sedition, Federal Republicans declare war on Americans with the eventual victims being Starbucks, McDonalds, and the murders at Walmart. You don’t get to be the CEO of a big corporation by being the nervous type, and they’re worried. So worried, they are willing to forgo many of their long-held beliefs because they are scared to death.
The added $600 to unemployment checks accounted for almost ten percent of consumer spending and it’s long gone. That money allowed the unemployed to stop at Starbucks and McDonalds after shopping at Walmart and it is long gone. Republicans play a dangerous game. During the Great Depression, the Communist Party of America was the fastest growing political Party in the country. It wasn’t that Americans were Communists; it was that the Communist Party had opened feeding stations in major cities preaching, “Look who is feeding you and look who is not!”
Trump and his seditious gang of criminals attempt to build a scaffold to hang Democracy. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans attempt to drown the government in a bathtub. The unemployed will someday be employed again in a decade or so, fifteen years tops. They will remember the good old days fondly and find a target for their economic rage. It is a lot easier to be up in arms about Abortion and your Second Amendment rights when you have a job and a roof over your head. Here in my apartment complex, I see at least one U-Haul truck per week. A year of that and this place ain’t profitable no more. They’ve also closed the business office on Sunday. A day one might expect folks to shop around for an apartment. I trust their judgment they know the business better than I do. If they shut the office on Sunday, there is no demand period. If there was a chance, they’d rent even one apartment they would have left it open.
I’ve been wondering about the survival of several staples of American life. Will we ever go back to a movie theater or a dine in restaurant? I got a TV bigger than God’s with a super multi-plex multi-band eight million watts per channel Quadrophonic Dolby sound system with gold pin connectors. Why should I drive across town and pay some goomer twelve bucks? Only to be raped on concessions with fifteen minutes of commercials. No lines or show times, no sticky floors, or obnoxious kids. Will we ever be able to sit in a crowded DUI Friday’s without wondering who is contagious or feeling a little claustrophobic? Is it the Blockbuster syndrome, the things we just don’t do anymore?
There will be victims along the wayside, but government inaction guarantees that the victims will take victims with them. Now just for fun, let’s look at Mitch’s world. No federal aid for state local government means state and local government will go away all sad and dejected. No, they will do the only thing they can do…raise taxes. At a time when the economy is weakest raising taxes would be completely counterproductive, “Well, a year ago you could have afforded it.” Punishing those still working for their crime. A Robinhood on Acid scenario where we take from people who can’t afford it to provide programs which are wholly inadequate.
The states created the Federal government and now their lab experiment wants to strangle them and through them us. The Federal government was created for the protection of the states, “You don’t get to say “fuck you!” and just walk away!” The disillusionment sets in, why should I vote for you if you say it’s all fixed? Why should I support your party when you spit in my face when I’m in need? Why should I support the pro-life Party that lets millions suffer and die including me and mine?
I heard an interview with a survivor of the Dearborn Massacre, and he said something that always stayed with me. He said, “If Franklin Roosevelt hadn’t been elected there would have been a revolution in this country, and I would have been dammed proud to be a part of it.” Revolutionaries aren’t born they’re made just like baking a cake. One-part poverty, one-part desperation. Add in the Marie Antoinette arrogance of ignoring the poor and the anger at being ignored while drowning. It better work Mitch, or Republicans are history. The last time the Republicans invoked a Great Depression they didn’t hold the White House or either house of Congress for twenty years.
“You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.”
― Alexander Solzhenitsyn