After COVID-19, no more ‘business as usual’

This April 2020 video says about itself:

Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It

Governments around the world are busily exploiting the coronavirus crisis to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks.

“I’ve spent two decades studying the transformations that take place under the cover of disaster,” writes Naomi Klein. “I’ve learned that one thing we can count on is this: During moments of cataclysmic change, the previously unthinkable suddenly becomes reality.”

In recent decades, that change has mainly been for the worst — but this has not always been the case. And it need not continue to be in the future.

This video is about the ways the still-unfolding Covid-19 crisis is already remaking our sense of the possible. The Trump administration and other governments around the world are busily exploiting the crisis to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is moving to repeal financial regulations that were introduced after the last major financial meltdown, as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. …

But this is not the whole story. In the United States, we have also seen organizing at the city and state levels win important victories to suspend evictions during the pandemic. Ireland has announced six weeks of emergency unemployment payments for all workers who suddenly find themselves out of work, including self-employed workers. And despite U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden’s claims during the recent debate that the pandemic has nothing to do with Medicare for All, many Americans are suddenly realizing that the absence of a functioning safety net exacerbates vulnerabilities to the virus on many fronts.

This crisis — like earlier ones — could well be the catalyst to shower aid on the wealthiest interests in society, including those most responsible for our current vulnerabilities, while offering next to nothing to the most workers, wiping out small family savings and shuttering small businesses. But as this video shows, many are already pushing back — and that story hasn’t been written yet.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Manifesto for “people above corporations” for after the crisis

A group of citizens, activists and scientists is calling on politicians to opt for “people above corporations” and “green and fair above business as usual” as they move out of the coronavirus crisis. That is why they launched the Samen uit de Crisis website today.

“There is hardly any talk about the society we want to have soon,” says Mirthe Biemans of the movement in the NOS Radio 1 News. “We want to prevent what happened after the previous crisis from happening again. We want the money not to go into the pockets of the CEOs and shareholders, but to benefit all of us.”

The initiators argue for various measures. Biemans: “You have to make demands about bailouts, so no bonuses or payments to shareholders until support has been paid back. Low-paid wages have to go up, you should invest in building affordable housing and making that sustainable. I don’t hear that kind of long-term plan from politicians. What is happening now: preparations are being made for Budget Day. You don’t want the corporate lobby to be at the revolving door with government, we want to make the sound of society heard.”

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