#Pocalypso | The Economy vs. “A Few Lives” is a False Choice

2020-04-20 – Is it immoral to balance risk to life against the economy of the nation? No. This is done all the time. The problem with the current efforts to reopen our economy is not that it (claims to) strike this balance. It’s that most of the benefit goes to one group of people while most of the risk falls on the rest of us.

The GOP is framing the question this way because they know that people will accept the way they frame it. Liberals are aghast and push back, but the frame is bogus to begin with. If everyone was sharing in the risks and the benefits, it would be a different story.

The rich are bailed out. The rest of us . . .? Not so much.

We don’t even know what the risks are. We don’t know how many people have been infected. We don’t know how many people will be infected if we lay down our guard. The Trump administration is not interested in finding out. They don’t want data to be collected if the only conclusion we can draw from the data is that they are interested only in the money . . . and couldn’t care less about the people.

People need work, and they manipulate this by proposing a false choice: lives versus the economy. We need to push back on the falseness of the choice—because the third alternative is the real choice for life.

Stop hindering the health care workers. Get them the supplies they need. Get the testing program going. Stop putting out lies about remedies that aren’t remedies. Support the research needed for real remedies. And make sure that people who have lost their health insurance coverage because they lost their jobs can get help when they need it.

Include labor leaders in the “committee” for reopening the economy. You’ve never worked a day in your life. Not doing a thing doesn’t make you expert at it. Let the real experts get to work to devise safe procedures. Parts of the economy that are closed now probably can reopen if social distancing can be reliably implemented. If you open without that, you may have a summer of love, but a worse resurgence in the fall. (Have you thought about how that would affect your re-election chances? It won’t be pretty for you.)

And stop with the “incentive” BS about unemployment benefits. People are not out of work to scam the system. They are out of work because you failed to heed warnings of pandemic during months (and years) when something could have been done to head this off. People want to get back to normal lives. But in the meantime, they need to live.

I could go on and on.

Check out David Frum’s story in The Atlantic: Trump’s Two Horrifying Plans for Dealing With the Coronavirus.

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