And Meanwhile, Workers Suffer

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced her own ‘pandemic relief bill’. Among the items included in the bill was money for the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, solar and wind tax credits, having taxpayers pay for prior student debt and other items in the billions of dollars that have nothing to do with the current pandemic.

This is what Pelosi thinks is most important?

With businesses forced to close and having to lay off workers, claims for unemployment benefits are projected to reach 5 million this week. Even knowing that, Pelosi thinks that it is worth it to hold up crisis relief funding to try to get money items unrelated to the current pandemic, things that she has been advocating long before anyone heard of coronavirus but unable to get passed.

If we want to have a debate on those items, that’s good and let’s have it in due course. But don’t try to promote your agenda at the expense of holding up critically needed help for people who now have no jobs because of government mandated orders to close businesses that employ them. If you really want to help the working class, then quit trying to promote an agenda at their expense and while people are suffering.

Are Diseases Racist?

At today’s press conference to give an update on the pandemic, the President referred to the disease as the ‘China virus’. A reporter asked if that was racist, because it was called the ‘China virus’.

The answer, “No, because it came from China.”

The reporter persisted, and said that the President ‘thought’ it came from there but suggested that we don’t know for sure where it came from. The reply, “No, we don’t ‘think’, we know where it came from.”

But, wait, they weren’t done. At least two more reporters asked questions about the implied racism of the President.

Is that really one of the important issues at hand in dealing with this crisis? Or do these reporters, who supposedly have college degrees, really not understand that ‘Chinese’ means that it is from China?

We should watch out. The next press conference will probably have questions around paying reparations for such terrible racial slurs through  history of pandemic health as the Spanish Flu and the German Measles.

 

Help the Country vs. Help the Ego

The stock markets like stability. Instability makes people take their money somewhere else that they think may be safer (or at least less risky). And as our economy has changed over the last two decades, the stock market is increasingly important to all segments of the US population since most people now have a 401(K) or an IRA. Stock ownership is not just primarily for the more affluent, as it once might have been.

Similarly, business owners like the ‘known’. Business conditions that are unstable or that may change in unpredictable ways make them nervous and fearful of investing in technology and additional jobs.

The stock market averages have plunged almost 30% in the past 2 weeks, prior to recovering a bit on Friday when some averages gained back 6-9%, in the first sign that the financial crash may be stabilizing.

What the markets and the economy need is a steady hand, and a consistent policy to address the current crisis, which is largely the result of the total unknown of how the current coronavirus pandemic will affect us and the economy. Continue reading “Help the Country vs. Help the Ego”

Why Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign Never Caught On

Elizabeth Warren, the junior senator from Massachusetts, announced this week that she was ending her run for President. Warren’s campaign never really caught on.

While running for President, Warren lost her home state of Massachusetts.  Well, lost is a kind word. She finished third and did not get even a quarter of the vote. And she did better in Massachusetts than she did anywhere else.

So why was she in the news so much in the last year, and why did that not translate into votes? The explanation is actually pretty easy. Continue reading “Why Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign Never Caught On”

Do You Have To Live in California To Think Up This Stuff?

A bill proposed in the California Legislature would make it illegal for retail outlets who sell clothes, toy or child care items to have separate areas for ‘boys’ and ‘girls’, or to identify any of their products as for any particular gender.

No need to comment.

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And in Oakland, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to adopt a bill which forbids builders or landlords from inquiring about, requiring disclosure of or making housing decisions based on an applicant’s criminal history. It also forbids such things as requiring a higher security deposit because of a criminal history. (Nearby Berkeley and Alameda County are considering similar measures). Continue reading “Do You Have To Live in California To Think Up This Stuff?”