Here are seven lessons from 2020 if America learns nothing else from these dark times: Ted Cruz and other Republican senators oppose election results certificationRead more1 Workers Keep America Going, Not BillionairesAmerican workers were required to put their lives on the line to provide vital services, even as their employers refused to provide sufficient protective equipment
In the meantime, the 651 billionaires in America, whose net wealth has risen by more than $1 billion since the pandemic started, have retired to their homes, yachts and estates. On his 165,000-acre ranch in West Texas, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos sought refuge while workers toiled nearby in Amazon warehouses, often without adequate masks, gloves or disinfectant. The corporation offered a $2-per-hour rise in hazard pay, but soon waived it, but since March Bezos’s fortune has increased by a whopping $70 billion, taking its total net worth to around $186 billion at the end of the year.2 Killing Black and Latino Americans by Institutional RacismBlack and Latino Americans account for almost 40 percent of deaths from coronavirus to date, even though they make up les les deaths
They have been forced to fight for their dignity in other ways as they bear the brunt of this pandemic: taking to the streets to protest decades of disproportionate police killings, only to encounter even more police violence. The coronavirus figures are even more frightening among Native Americans. Thanks to years of government underfunding and negligence of the health care system, the Navajo Nation has a higher per capita infection rate than any other state, but does not adequately care for the ill. 3 Decades of racism, pollution, lack of access to care, and poverty have left communities of color vulnerable to the worst of this virus and the worst of America. If we can afford to bail out Wall Street and businesses, we can afford to bail out people. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to insist that the country can’t afford to send a $2,000 survival check to every American.
But more than $220 billion was allocated to powerful corporate groups that could have been used to battle working people through the latest relief legislation.3 There is another way to look at it: the overall expense of delivering such $2,000 checks ($465 billion) will be less than half the value of the 651 billionaires of America added to their wealth during the pandemic ($1 billion).4 Health Care Must Be Ma
A further 15 million lost their employer’s coverage when they lost their jobs. Without insurance, it costs up to $73,000 for a hospital stay to treat Covid-19.
Remember that “Medicare for All” is too extreme the next time you hear it.5 Our social safety net is woefully brokenNo no industrialized nation was as unprepared as the United States for the pandemic. 5 Our social safety net is woefully broken. Our unemployment insurance system has been developed for a particular America and is more than 80 years old. We are one of the few countries in the world that does not give its employees any sort of paid sick leave. By guaranteeing paychecks, other developed nations kept unemployment rates low.
Americans who have applied for unemployment insurance either have none, or they have been too late for weeks or months. They will receive just $300 a week in extra compensation under the current law to make ends meet.6 Joe Biden got 7 million more votes than Trump. The Electoral College Must Be Abolished.
But his lead was just 45,000 in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Had Trump carried those three states, he would have received 37 electoral votes, tying him in the Electoral College with Biden. This would have moved the election to the House of Representatives, with one vote being obtained from every state delegation. While Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, a Republican majority is in place for more state delegations. The disparity between the popular vote and the vote at the Electoral College widened