Americans and stupidity, speaking in the collective sense, are often put together like chocolate with milk. However, this is often an exaggeration, for while Americans are known to have patterns of making bad decisions and persisting in them (which is where the association with stupidity seems to come from), eventually they figure out what is happening, and when this does, it can have major political or social consequences. One of these changes, as Zero Hedge has pointed out, is that a lot of Americans don’t want to back to work because they don’t want to risk getting COVID-19 and because they realized that if the government hand out checks to big rich corporate “leaders” in banking, heavy industry, and technology, why can’t they get a piece of the pie?
Now, with the “Phase I” of the country’s reopening, more and more workers are going to face this decision. In Georgia, for instance, “barbershops, gyms, nail salons and tattoo parlors will be able to open on Friday, with restaurants able to open for sit-down service on Monday,” according to Reuters. South Carolina is following suit with Texas and Tennessee close behind.
But many workers are still scared to go back to work. Others are simply scared of losing their unemployment benefits. About 22 million people have filed for unemployment over the last 4 weeks.
People in states like Georgia and South Carolina could be worried about going back to work at a time when the virus hasn’t necessarily abated.
Thomas Smith, an associate professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School said: “You’re asking people to put their life on the line. These people aren’t Army Rangers – those people signed up for combat. A barber did not.”
The state has processed more than 860,000 unemployment claims since mid-March, about 17% of the state’s total workforce. The state is paying out twice as many claims in a week than they did for all of 2019. Georgia has paid out more than $500 million in benefits so far.
Georgia employment lawyer James Radford said: “I think that one of the big drivers of this decision by Kemp is to get people off unemployment rolls and having the private sector keeping these people afloat.”
But Kemp notes there is a new rule that allows people to keep collecting full benefits even if they earn up to $300 per week.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler has basically told employees and businesses they’re on their own: “If an employee is concerned about returning to work due to exposure to COVID-19, we are encouraging employees to communicate with their employers on plans to safely return to work.”
Manuel’s Tavern General Manager Steve Pitts said: “I have a daughter and I want to be around for her. It’s still too dangerous.” (source)
So much of what is called the “American dream” is just an illusion meant to distract people from the boot of abuse kicking them from those in power. There has always been a struggle between the employer and employee throughout history, but bad things happen when the former kicks the latter too much.
Corporate abuse in America is arguably at an all time high, and while not as openly brutal as it was during the 19th century, it is just masked now by a myriad of laws that allow for the systematic expropriation of wealth in the name of “legality” while people get richer than ever before in history and laugh and the continued and worsening misery of the rest of their fellow man.
There will always be the poor, and there will also always be rich. Both are important to society, and the value of both is not dependent on the amount of money that either one has, but in the standing of the either before God.
As per the direct words of the Old Testament, it is a sin on the same level of abortion and sodomy to deny the working man his justly earned wages, and what is seen all across America today? The systematic disenfranchisement of the working man, who works harder than ever before, of his justly earned wages as he struggles and suffers to pay his bills while his bosses take more from him and are now looking to replace him with machines permanently.
The common man has figured it out due to the virus- why get sick and die, for a salary that he is paid less for, under more miserable conditions, than stay at home and collect he legally promised check?
No sane man would return to work right now for the sake of his physical, mental, or fiscal health in that order.
Now this does not mean there will not be a lot of problems in the future, but those were inevitable because of fundamental problems which were not solved, but allowed to fester.
Perhaps something good will come from this virus in the form of a critical re-examination of what life is, and how workers should be treated, and to open up a real conversation about human dignity and freedom in the light of the continued disenfranchisement of the average man.