Donald Trump likes to call people losers. Well!
Trying to name the greatest loser in history is a bit over the top. But you got to give me this. Donald Trump would certainly be in the running. This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million people will die prematurely as a direct or indirect result. How much is that worth? It didn't have to be this way.
So far the direct cost to the US is around $10 trillion counting what is being leveraged by the Federal Reserve and mostly hidden from view. And the spending is not over yet. It is not the problem Republicans pretend, and yes they will try to snooker everyone into some belt-tightening austerity "we're broke" moves. It doesn't have to be this way.
Modern Monetary Theory On Display
You see Republicans figured out a long time ago that deficits don't really matter. VP Dick Cheney blabbered that out when he was in office. They were early in figuring out modern monetary theory. And it's not that they were economic geniuses. They just stumbled upon it while thieving and dumb luck. They didn't give a rat's patootie about you and me and if it came out of our pocket -- as long as it wasn't theirs.
How much is $10 trillion. It's about $30,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. And that is not all. It will cost the American public additional multiple $10 trillions in lost investments, income, and wealth.
In December, we knew this pandemic was coming to North America and might be bad. Donald Trump did nothing. In January, we knew it was bad and was coming. And Donald Trump did nothing. In February, we knew it was bad and was already here. And still, Donald Trump did nothing. In March, people started to die and die and die and die. And Donald Trump just pretended to have done something. I repeat: Donald Trump did nothing. It didn't have to be this way.
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So what should Donald Trump have done? Well first of all, how about some masks for everybody. Simple enough. Did we know masks were important? Well, of course we did. We had a flu pandemic back in 1918. Lots of people wore masks then.
It's even darker than that. Did we have a plan for this pandemic. You betcha. Lots of plans and lots of warnings. How could a country make thousands and thousands of liberty ships, tanks and bombers at near drop of a hat in WWII but can't make a simple mask today. Because Donald Trump did nothing.
This huge mess that "The Donald" has personally made is a prime example that it takes leadership at the top to start things off. And failure to do so is the cruelest oversight of a country's leader in times of crisis. Trump's attitude and behavior has sucked from the start. And he is supported by a Republican party leadership that is dominated by the ignorant, unsympathetic, greedy, selfish, and the criminally insane. Many of their grassroots supporters haven't quite figured this out yet. Will they figure this out or will they just "eat cake"?
This situation is not unlike pre-revolution France. Republicanism has deteriorated and it is sadly true that conservatives are no longer part of the right, for the most part. They have simply been drummed out of the Republican party and replaced by reactionaries and radicals.
It seems so simple and basic to me. A fish stinks from the head first. Leadership matters. I suppose I see things differently than some because I went through military leadership training, commanded troops in the field, and spent 10 years in the military. That's where leadership skills and setting a good example pays off in lives saved. That's where the correct answer is "Yes sir. Can do" in an emergency and taught routinely to everyone. Those that can't learn are segregated.
First comes the presidential leadership and then the requirement "Wear A Mask". Then those that don't will be shunned by their contemporaries. Those that spit in the face of others go to "home jail" with an ankle bracelet. Those that still can't conform get a big anvil to carry around their home or maybe we bring back the public square stock punishment.
The head of public health at Emory University stated that if you figure the Covig death rate is 1% then somewhere between 10-15 million have already been infected. This falls in line with my estimate that is 10x known cases to determine actual infection count. Same 10-15 million estimate. That's a bunch of folks and many more to go.
If we follow the pattern of the 1918 pandemic, you ain't seen nothing until this fall if the coronavirus comes roaring back. The economic fallout may be as bad as that of the Black Death in the 14th century. It is certainly worth paying attention, rather than letting self-absorbed thieves have access to all the country's economic stimulus. Especially without scrutiny and oversight in the highest office.
Income and Wealth Inequality On Display
Considering all the pandemic public policies so far, this is what jumps out at me. The problem is an inequality issue. Mostly the "haves nots" will become infected at about 60-70% rate and mostly the "haves" will avoid infection at a much lower percentage.
The death rate from this virus is estimated to be 1% for those infected. Personally I don't intend to catch the coronavirus as it is too risky. I am over seventy years old and my health is good but my immune system is not what it once was. And my chances of dying may be greater than 1% if infected. 1% doesn't sound like much to some. but I would not fly on a plane where I had a 1% chance of crashing and dying. Would you? Put another way 3 million people would die in the US. Only 3,000 died in 9-11. So why play loosey-goosey with this virus.
What I don't understand is how a country as rich as the US can't produce a simple 50 cent N-95 mask and make everybody wear one in public. We do know a Texas company offered to start up 2 mothballed mask production lines but the feds turned them down. Either this oversight was intentional or we suffer from poor leadership starting at the top.. Probably both.
What we have done is let what some call a con man who bankrupted an Atlantic City casino, among other things, take the seat of the most powerful political office and one that has been called the leader of the free world. A damaged soul who started out as a Viet Nam War malingerer and never learned to be brave as an adult but only to rant and rave and come to no one's aid. And years from now, when this is over and history reflects, Donald Trump will be history's biggest loser. And all for the price of a measly 50 cent face mask.
Many poor in rural America voted for Donald Trump so he could shake things up. Well he certainly is doing that. But you have been conned for years by a Republican party and its propagandizing media that "Government Is The Problem". Well your government is broken now and many of you are paying the biggest price with lack of access to adequate healthcare and limited social services.
Nothing Is Stupider Than Not Wearing Mask As A 'Right-Wing Badge Of Honor'
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Robert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.
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