Give Me Capitalism or Give Me Death
The coronavirus crisis demands we put workers before profits, but lawmakers and wealthy elites have picked a side.
I don’t remember doing it, but at some point in the last week I must have turned on my Apple News alerts. “The Dow fell more than 900 points on Friday,” one read. Then another: “Who will be saved, and who won’t?” And another: “How the coronavirus will permanently change our world. Also: The incredible power of walking.” And another: “The Dow posted a 2,000 jump as negotiations in Congress continued.”
As laid out by my colleague Matt Ford, the news from the past few days has been an incessant stream of this brand of financial panic mixed with existential dread. The world may not be ending (yet), but it has come to feel like a simmering pot finally coming to a boil: Politicians are floating the idea that the economy supersedes the needs of living, breathing human beings; cruise and airline companies are demanding bailouts and full control over the terms; senators are doing crimes in broad daylight; billionaire corporatists who did the same are asking regular people for money; and Wall Street executives are getting 20 percent raises as the companies and industries they’ve tethered themselves to lay off workers en masse.