March 21, 2020 – With this crisis, let’s do things differently. Let’s focus on people, not corporate profits. The federal government needs to direct immediate relief to people that have no money coming in. People all over the country – and not just employed workers, but all people, employed and unemployed, sheltered and unsheltered, married and unmarried, straight, gay and trans, healthy and sick – need help, and they need it now, no strings attached. $2000 per month in basic income until the economy recovers would be a good start.
The flip side of real people relieft is no bailouts for banks or industries without strong strings attached – strings such as guaranteed sick pay for employees, a moratorium on employee furloughs and layoffs during the COVID-19 crisis, and an end to all anti-union activity. Also: No executive pay bonuses and no stock buybacks. And if the bailout is big enough, citizens deserve a shareholder stake in that corporation’s future fortunes. If in the long run it can’t prove its contribution to the public interest, liquidate it.
Ordinary people got screwed royally in the 2008-2009 financial crisis, subsequent no-strings-attached bailouts for banks and big businesses, and the “Great Recession” austerity budgets and jobs destruction that followed (and continues to this day). Let’s not get caught flat-footed again.
Social workers – Working class and poor people are our people. Fight for them!