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General Baker Evolution of a Revolutionary

COVID-19

Recorded meeting from 5/24/2020

CLASS DISCUSSION

1. ARTICLE - Rev. Barber's Poor People's Campaign Calls for Resistance to Reopening Plans

 

2. VIDEO - Jimmy Dore on Bernie Sanders, the CARES Act + the Dems Ditch Civil Liberties | Useful Idiots

 

3. What are the implications for the working class?

4.  How will it impact the system of private property (Capitalism)?

5. What can the impact of the mass resistance to the pandemic have?

6.  Election, November 2020?

NATIONAL HELATH CARE AND COVID-19 

 

 "It took a national public health crisis as big as the Covid 19 pandemic to lay bare the destruction of our health system wrought by insurance companies and the government over the last 40 years.” - Dr. Dave Apsey

Let’s take a look at how a single payer system would deal differently with this crisis.

As the virus outbreak was announced internationally and urgent warnings were publicized, national health care systems like S Korea, Japan and China jumped into action, mobilizing testing, social distancing measures much sooner and stronger than in the USA.  Health workers received necessary protective equipment and health facilities, with China in an extraordinary effort building a 1000 bed hospital in a little over a week to treat Covid patients.

In addition, in national health care models, all people have equal rights to the same quality health care.  Even in the United Kingdom as the Prime Minister became severely and acutely ill, the nurses and Prime Minister proclaimed he had care no different than anybody else in the public system with everybody else.  In the United Kingdom, the response was slower than necessary but in that case, everybody has the equal right to exactly the same health care whether they are employed or not.

In the USA, the response has been quite different.  Despite our great wealth and physical ability to prepare, the health care system is built and maintained for the profit of giant transnational pharma, hospital, insurance payers and staffing firms.  These firms are owned and controlled by the largest investment fund managers with a close eye on one factor, the profit for their investors. The billionaire class covets their coordinated investment funds controlling trillions of the world’s wealth.  The health care system in the USA and the world is one of the most profitable businesses on earth and these fund managers are expert at extracting everything for their owners.

So what’s the effect on the ground?  Water is shut off to homes of people too poor to afford the bills, people including frontline health workers are laid off by their staffing agencies and entire hospital systems closed because they cannot generate enough profit during this crisis.  Those workers have their health insurance canceled by midnight the day they are laid off leaving their physical health and their families at the mercy of disease that may strike as they cared for the rest of the patients in the hospital before it closed.”

“The demands of this new impoverished class for food, housing, education, health care and an opportunity to contribute to society are summed up as the demand for a cooperative society.”

Such a society must be based on the public ownership of the socially necessary means of production and the distribution of the social product according to need.”-  LRNA program, 2018.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought everything into sharp contrast. Whatever we experienced five months ago has been rearranged, re-contextualized. Through the lens of the pandemic, the demands of the new class become clarified, magnified. The pandemic first emerged as a public health crisis. From February 29, when the first death in the US from COVID 19 was confirmed, the pandemic laid bare the inadequacy of the healthcare system: from the testing kits and supplies, to the protective equipment for health care providers and patients, to the medical equipment, to the available hospital beds and ICU rooms – all of which were in short supply. The government proved incapable of organizing the production and distribution of materials in time, and the result was the rapid ballooning of cases to  We cannot get to public health with a system of private healthcare.

The pandemic quickly exacerbated and connected every other contradiction in society: Under these conditions, public health means much more than immunizations, more equipment, and expanded testing. Public health includes housing for all, as shelter-in-place orders could not apply to those unhoused, those detained in prisons and jails, and any confined living situation including nursing homes and shelters. Class and race inequality quickly revealed itself, as the vast majority of deaths due to COVID 19 occur within the new class and especially among African-Americans. The statistics are especially alarming in the large cities, like Detroit, Chicago and New York. As public health officials warn people to wash their hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, many families in Detroit, Flint, and many other places must continue to live without safe running water. Quickly, from all directions, have come programmatic demands that the government provide for the people – for example, demands that the government use the existing Laws to take over corporations and force them to make the needed equipment, like masks, gowns, and ventilators. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, no friend of the working class, called on the president to use his war powers to compel the production of personal protective equipment. Demands reverberated that the government declare a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, and rent payments; demands that the government find permanent housing for the homeless. In contrast, the Federal government has moved quickly to pay corporations to produce equipment on a voluntary basis, piecemeal; prices on needed equipment have skyrocketed as states bid against each other and against the Federal government to get what the private corporations are producing; the Federal Reserve and Congress have moved to shore up the airline and hotel industries and the travel/cruise industry with bailouts. And when Congress moved to pass the “stimulus package,” heralded for providing most Americans with  $1,200 payment, it was immediately revealed that for every $1,200 payment to the American people, at least $18,000 is mortgaged from their pockets and given to the major corporations.

This is not the same old crisis. This crisis is different. People from all sections of society are raising demands. Some promote programs to address those demands. None of these demands can be fully addressed unless they address the needs and demands of the new class. Recent polling shows that Medicare For All is more popular than ever. An improved, single-payer, Medicare for All program, that eliminates insurance companies and nationalizes the drug companies, resolves not only the pandemic public health crisis. It addresses the everyday issues that the most vulnerable of society have to face every day. The needs of the most vulnerable in housing, from skid row in Los Angeles to the streets of silicon valley to the tent encampments in Chicago can only be met by making corporate real estate public. The collusion of the corporate government in keeping public housing empty gives us an opportunity to explore what real public property, in the interests of the people, would be like. An almost universal distrust of the federal government runs rampant — precisely when we need a government that promotes the well-being of all. As the government continues to turn its back on the new class, more and more organizations of the class demand that the government take care of the people or get out of the way.

NATIONAL HELATH CARE AND COVID-19, PDF download

AS CORPORATIONS ADAPT TO A COVID-19 ECONOMY, THE WORKING-CLASS PREPARES FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT

By Raul DiegoMintpress News.

May 16, 2020 

EDUCATE!

Above: Francy Sandoval looks outside from her home in Melrose Park, Ill., April 23, 2020. By Nam Y. Huh for AP.

As Social Distancing Measures Persist Across The Country, Corporations Are Setting In A “New Normal” Where Most People Are Safely Squirreled Away In Their Homes, With Paradigm-Shifting Implications For The Working Classes.

In a disturbing trend foreshadowed by suddenly ubiquitous multi-screen video chatting applications like Zoom and now Google Meet, a soup-to-nuts restructuring of corporate policies and procedures designed around a “new normal” where people are conditioned to avoid social contact and remain in their homes or cars, is being pushed by global consulting giants like McKinsey & Company, which yesterday published a “90-day plan” to initiate “rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic.”

McKinsey, an American management consulting firm founded in 1926 with over 120 offices worldwide, has cultivated great influence in both the public and private sectors with alumni staffing the C-level offices of massive concerns like Boeing, Google, Facebook, and IBM. McKinsey has been described as the Jesuits of capitalism as a result of their penchant for secrecy but also widespread influence at the highest levels of power.

The 90-Day Plan

In the 90-day plan, McKinsey expounds on four basic initiatives that they say must underpin the new reality for corporations in a post-COVID-19 universe, assuring us that we are at the threshold of a “historic deployment of remote work and digital access to services across every domain.” 

Divided into 30-day tranches, the firm recommends overhauling “customer expectations” and moving to a remote-first corporate structure, accelerating digital channel adoption across sectors. In layman’s terms, corporations are being advised to leave the familiar concept of office space behind and move towards a work-from-home model, creating a remote-work support staff to make the transition and management of the new digital paradigm as seamless as possible.

Other recommendations include “selective modernization of technology capabilities”, meaning ad hoc implementation of cloud-based computing technology guided by assessments of the “cyber risks” associated with a fully-digital operation. Artificial Intelligence is another component in the avalanche of structural changes that are in store for Americans in a reopened economy.

Assessing The Implications

Should this or similar plans move forward – and there is no indication they won’t – the implications for regular people are significant and life-altering. McKinsey claims that the measures taken to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus have catapulted us “five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks.” Their gleeful assertion is followed by a list of all the different kinds of changes we can expect to see in the sectors of banking, schooling, healthcare, and the service industry as they all move towards a digitized economy.

The consulting firm warns that “consumption patterns” are unlikely to return to pre-COVID-19 levels for some time, if ever, and suggests that companies prepare to deal with endemic “structural overcapacity” as they navigate the “new normal”. Overcapacity, a term that simply denotes when industrial capacity exceeds production levels, is a symptom of instability that is usually resolved in the normal course of regular business cycles. However, by referring to structural overcapacity, McKinsey is alerting businesses to the fact that a digitized economy will take some time to establish and that they better be ready to batten down the hatches.

Many businesses, of course, do not have the necessary resources to survive endemic overcapacity and even McKinsey concedes that it will take at least 12 to 18 months to completely switch over. Most companies will also be hard-pressed to carry out the complete rebuild of their “analytical models… to steer operational decisions”, which McKinsey considers essential for a business’ success in this brave new world.

They Don’t Really Care About Us

For the vast majority of us, the move to a completely digital economy represents an even more unfair deal than we already have as low-level participants in a billionaires’ economy. When Elon Musk tweeted that he was going to sell off “most” of his earthly possessions, many cheered the Tesla CEO for taking what appeared to be such an ‘enlightened’ step. But, what isn’t readily apparent to most people is that in this post-COVID-19 economy that McKinsey is promoting, Elon and all his friends will be moving into your house.

With the so-called “remote-first” organizational model for corporations, our homes will become their new office space. Companies all over the United States can then enrich themselves further by selling off or renting out their real estate assets, while your living room becomes your boss’ new conference room. Some employees are even already making the calculation and looking for cheaper rent to subsidize their employer’s office space.

The “reopening” of the economy is beginning to look more and more like a closure of society as we are forced indoors over fears of contagion and access to food becomes conditioned on adherence to top-down policies. With a large part of American society tacitly accepting of digital forms of social interaction, further steps taken in that direction like fan-less sporting events and worse are not far off.

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

Link to the website,

https://popularresistance.org/as-corporations-adapt-to-a-covid-19-economy-the-working-class-prepares-for-a-paradigm-shift/

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