GREED – THE TRUE DISEASE
The recent revelations of “insider trading” tactics employed by some members of Congress as they learned about the severity of COVID-19 only scratch the surface of the depth of the true disease in our country and much of the rest of the world. It spread quietly and slowly with little fanfare and only noticed by marginalized populations around the world.
This disease is greed. It is more insidious than COVID-19, more contagious and much more deadly. Greed has landlords believing that they have the right to evict people when they cannot pay their rent while they are unable to work due to Coronavirus. Greed has employers not paying employees when they are not able to open the doors to customers. Greed has elected officials fighting over political gains in a lose-lose game while their constituents become ill and some die due to their inaction.
Greed has moved America’s production capacity overseas to countries we no longer have access to. We cannot meet the needs of medical professionals because we relied on China to make the supplies we use every day. China can produce 20 million surgical masks a day. However, their own demand is 50 to 60 million per day. China will not save us.
It takes months to convert factories when times are good and it is expensive. Right now, all supply chains are broken. People need to keep away from each other to slow the spread of the virus.
We can get through this though. We need to start to ramp up production again on everything we need. We can do it safely and quickly. We have done it before. We are good at this sort of last-minute, just in time, rally. It will not be easy. It will not be cheap.
We can start by convincing the federal government to open the strategic reserves, to bring out the engineers we need to build temporary capacity where needed and then we need American business owners to take responsibility for bringing up production of needed medical supplies and food for those who need it. We need freight companies to safely transport these goods to those who need them.
The hardest hit populations are always the poor, the marginalized and the disabled. We all should not be punished for the greed of others.
While you are out of work, spend some time learning about the issues, write your local, state and federal representatives, check in with your friends and family and see if there are other ways which you can help. We can get through this together.