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General Baker Evolution of a Revolutionary

General Baker Evolution of a Revolutionary

COVID-19

The Poor Peoples Campaign

Where Do We Focus Our Efforts?

Recorded meeting from 5/31/2020

CLASS DISCUSSION

1. The Poor Peoples Campaign


2. Where Do We Focus Our Efforts?


WHERE DO WE FOCUS OUR EFFORTS?/PART 1

 

The world as we know it has changed permanently.  Things are in play that most of us have never seen or dreamed about before, so how do we order our steps?  Forces of nature and human-made decisions have plunged us into a cave where we must find the exits on our own.  If the list of what the priority issues are at this moment were described, the failed healthcare system would be first.  After that, the 35 plus million workers separated from their jobs who filed for benefits that didn’t come might be next.  The surprise revealed was that healthcare coverage was tied to the job, so when the Covid-19 virus sent workers home, medical help vanished.

A plague that descended on the most vulnerable across the country took root as it destroyed the bodies and lives of thousands. The families of the dying and the dead are featured but to what end?  Where is the help, the support these beleaguered wives, husbands, and children deserve?

In the midst of this chaos, let us stop and think what comes next.  The great revolutionary, the late labor leader “General Baker” often used the phrase, “…Our task is to turn fighters into thinkers, and thinkers into fighters…”  What is needed today and tomorrow is to analyze where we are and where we want to be.  The upcoming November election is a chance to suggest policies and programs that can be the foundation of the kind of world we want to build.

PROBLEM:   The CORONAVIRUS is novel which means ‘new’ or unique. This virus is contagious, and there is no cure at present.  The country was completely unprepared to fight this virus.  Thousands have been infected and have died.  The protective tools, testing kits, and collective approaches needed to fight this virus are woefully lacking. The healthcare system in place today is not able to serve the needs of working people so a change is required that is not based on budgets or on insurance plans.  Folks get sick or injured, we treat them…no question. SOLUTION: America needs what most industrialized nations already have – universal healthcare that is not connected to employment nor based on budgets. 

PROBLEM:  The CORONAVIRUS forced millions of working people off the job, sending them home to ‘shelter in place’ while the government scrambled for leadership capable of coordinating a plan of action. Those without work were advised to file for unemployment benefits but no one knew that the various state unemployment systems would be over-loaded by the sheer numbers of those making application. Week #1, week #2, week #3, etc. passed without those needed benefits and no access was in place to repair yet another flawed system. SOLUTION: In the face of such a pandemic, the country needed to ‘nationalize’ unemployment benefits so that every worker would have received compensation within the first week of being separated from a job.  The priority should be to care for the working millions by guaranteeing they are fed and housed.

PROBLEM:  The nation is being positioned to make decisions on what kind of government is best under stressful conditions.  Candidates high and low are staking out election policies that will propel them to either victory or defeat. The American body politic is fast approaching the need to make a choice and once again the selections are flawed. We need candidates who support what working people need first and not candidates who support policies that benefit the wealthy. Our choices should be based on policies, not personalities. If we believe that healthcare is a priority, then candidates we support should have demonstrated that same point of view. If we believe that workers without work still have the right to exist, then the candidates we support should have demonstrated that same point of view. SOLUTION:  We must visualize the kind of world we want for ourselves and for our families, then work to secure that conclusion. Housing, food, education, transportation, guaranteed income, national and international peace, all these things are critical to our quality of life. The easiest step is to paint the picture of the kind of society we need and then “…make it so…”  (Capt. Jon Luc Picard…”Star Trek/the Next Generation”) 

- Healthcare For All Newsletter, healthcareforallnewsletter@gmail.com

 

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