Sunday, April 19, 2020

Can Obamacare Defeat the Trump Virus?

With all the exultations from Trump regarding his absolute powers, I thought it appropriate to begin with a quote from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

Covid19 in an abstract sense, came along at the right time. The pandemic has brought to the forefront some of the harsh realities of our world. These realities have been obscured for two decades by our reliance on technology, and the fake news and lies of some pundits and politicians that thrive in the medium.

The US economy under President Trump is not the greatest economy in American history. The appearance of being robust and the soaring stock market were aided by monetary policy that has traditionally been used to stimulate in a recession, not bolster an economy at full employment.

In reality most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Despite the artificially induced, and factually incorrect, "low" inflation, the wages of most Americans have not risen enough to save anything, if even enough to pay their current bills. Employment benefits, including paid leave, pensions, and comprehensive health benefits, have vanished like smoke in the wind. And technological innovation, whose domination over our lives has been accelerated by the pandemic, and irresponsible capitalism, the two modern fates and furies, are zeroed in on our posteriors.

Ironically Covid19 might have bailed Trump out. It certainly gave him the opportunity to pay off some of his cronies.

The Pope along with some vegans and tree huggers, have suggested that the crisis, at least temporarily, has slowed the savage exploitation of our environment and global warming. I am not sure that this is so but one thing is certain. If we do not address climate change and the accompanying destruction of the Earth and her ecosystems, we are toast. Better start supporting candidates who lobby for space exploration. And start teaching your grandchildren about life on Mars.

The Republican approach to the crisis initially was to ignore it and it would go away. When it didn't go away, their response is still shrouded in wishful thinking and "hopeful" distortions and exaggerations. Hopefully, one thing that comes out of all of this is the realization that science is an invaluable tool with the capability to increase the quality of our lives.

America has always been a great melting pot. It's people, because of many variables including heritage, education, and experience are cognitively different. At the same time most of us, with the exception of those that dwell in the swamp, share some common perceptions and values. We believe in family, work, in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Hopefully, after this crisis, we as a people will be better.

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