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COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

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56 minutes ago, StrangeSox said:

Per Forbes in October 2019, Jeff Bezos was worth $119B. Today, it's $140.3B.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/10/03/forbes-400-amazon-ceo-remains-richest-person-us-despite-divorce/3849962002/

https://www.forbes.com/profile/jeff-bezos/#789855e21b23

That's about $1600 per second that his wealth has increased since the October article. Compare that to the pay and conditions for Amazon warehouse and delivery workers in the midst of a pandemic.

 

We shoveled megayatchloads of more money at the rich and powerful and have done next to nothing for most Americans let alone the most vulnerable. We bailed out the stock market. We are going to come out of this economic and health crisis a much more inequitable society with broken or destroyed public institutions in exchange for ever-more power concentrated among the wealthiest of the wealthy.

There's probably better ways to illustrate this than taking the handful of CEOs in the industries that in many cases provide necessary services, choosing a favorable time period and saying "see rich people get everything". How's Bob Igers net worth, dave calhoun's, any entertainment, hotel, travel ceo. 

And things like the S&P and even stock market growth in the last few years have been hugely driven by companies that also happen to be the ones that should be well set-up through this. 

 

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16 hours ago, southsider2k5 said:

How many people are acceptable for you to kill in the pursuit of economy?  Where do you draw the line?

We already kill millions around the world. Every, and I mean every, death that is attributed to poverty should be counted. Lack of proper nutrition, housing, health care are deaths in pursuit of economy. There are enough resources on the planet for every human to have food, clothing, shelter, and health care. Economic systems are tools that concentrate those resources in a few hands and they alone decide in perhaps an abstract way, the quality of life for a few billion people. 

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30 minutes ago, bmags said:

There's probably better ways to illustrate this than taking the handful of CEOs in the industries that in many cases provide necessary services, choosing a favorable time period and saying "see rich people get everything". How's Bob Igers net worth, dave calhoun's, any entertainment, hotel, travel ceo. 

And things like the S&P and even stock market growth in the last few years have been hugely driven by companies that also happen to be the ones that should be well set-up through this. 

 

How about Amazon employees being underpaid and working in dangerous conditions while Bezos becomes unfathomably wealthy off of their labor?

 

Edit: I bet all those travel CEO's are still doing much, much, much better than the hundreds of thousands of low wage workers who have been laid off in their industry.

Edited by StrangeSox
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One can make an argument that the Trump administration is attempting to stop Bezos....at least that Department of Defense contract worth billions shockingly awarded to MSFT...and now tied up in a lawsuit.  Not to mention trying to raise the prices by a factor of 5-6x on USPS deliveries of AMZN packages.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/13/amazon-gets-restraining-order-to-block-microsoft-work-on-pentagon-jedi.html
 

That said, it’s not just Amazon.  It’s the very top of the pyramid.   Wal-Mart.   Apple.   Facebook.  Google.   Netflix.   MSFT.

They will have so much power, a financial and lobbying influence so disproportionate that the middle and lower class might as well no longer exist.   We’re clearly seeing it with the banks favoring their deep pocketed institutional clients as well with two SBA funding rounds.

If you don’t have at least a billion dollars, nobody in Washington will pay attention.   The only way to fight back is a grassroots effort like Sanders had going strong based on thousands and thousands of small contributors, and actually winning elections (where they proved to be far less effective with their endorsed candidates.)   Nevertheless, the establishment neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party wiped out five years of Our Revolution organizing in less than ten days, from South Carolina through Super Tuesday.  This despite the fact a majority of the party was closer on most platform issues to the left than the right.

For the second presidential election in a row, a majority of Dems don’t even have a candidate they 100% can believe in. This time, however, that and Tara Reade might not even be enough to save Trump from the massive hole he’s dug for himself.

Edited by caulfield12
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We are now going to use the powers of the federal government to force low wage meat processing workers back on the job while giving their employees liability shields. Wonder what sort of health care plans these workers get? 

 

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2 minutes ago, StrangeSox said:

We are now going to use the powers of the federal government to force low wage meat processing workers back on the job while giving their employees liability shields. Wonder what sort of health care plans these workers get? 

 

So if you die because your employer forces you back to work, too bad.

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1 minute ago, southsider2k5 said:

So if you die because your employer forces you back to work, too bad.

They weren't going to vote for Trump anyway. 

It is interesting that meat production would be considered essential. I'm guessing vegetarians would say otherwise. Actually I'm slightly surprised that any agricultural worker would be essential. We are currently a net importer of human food items. We are trying to so hard to build a wall and stop a lot of those ag workers from even getting to the US. If we really feel that the work is essential we should be looking at a guest worker program and allowing them in through the front door. 

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1 hour ago, Texsox said:

We already kill millions around the world. Every, and I mean every, death that is attributed to poverty should be counted. Lack of proper nutrition, housing, health care are deaths in pursuit of economy. There are enough resources on the planet for every human to have food, clothing, shelter, and health care. Economic systems are tools that concentrate those resources in a few hands and they alone decide in perhaps an abstract way, the quality of life for a few billion people. 

Also, how many more die around the world due to the food shortages? How many more die from suicide, drug overdoses or subsequent damage from drugs due to depression from this shutdown? At what point does the damage done outweigh the damage we are preventing. 

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Speaking of meat processing plants:

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-23/one-hundred-usda-inspectors-have-tested-positive-for-covid-19

Quote

One hundred U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors have tested positive for the coronavirus as the illness ravages the nation's meat processing plants.

The workers are part of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, which employs about 6,500 inspectors, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed Thursday. USDA is taking measures to supply masks to workers, though they currently may need to find them on their own.

The infections among inspectors add to the growing concerns about the safety and viability of the nation's meat supply after several major U.S. factories closed in recent weeks due to outbreaks. USDA inspectors need to be physically present in processing plants to make sure standards for cleanliness and worker protection are being met. Inspectors have been traveling between plants with known infections to other plants.

"A traveling inspector bringing in the disease is our biggest worry," said Mike Callicrate, a rancher, processor and advocate in Kansas.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article242237811.html

Quote

"I would give them an 'F'," Paula Schelling, acting president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 45, a union that represents USDA inspectors, told Politico. She and other union leaders told the USDA "it wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when this would all blow up in these food plants. There is no protective equipment, there is no social distancing. Now we are at the when."

While the USDA says it is recommending safety practices based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unions say companies are implementing those safeguards inconsistently, Politico reported. Unions have asked the USDA to implement uniform guidelines for companies to follow, according to Politico.

Inspectors weren't allowed to wear masks until earlier this month, several inspectors said, because "it would create fear in the workplace," according to Government Executive, a media group covering government business. But that guidance contradicts FSIS's formal health and safety guidelines, which allows inspectors to voluntarily wear masks if they get approval and training from management.

FSIS reportedly told its employees during a teleconference town hall earlier this month that anyone who was exposed to the virus but has not shown symptoms should keep working, Government Executive reported. FSIS confirmed with employees that they should wear gloves and a face mask until they start feeling sick, according to the outlet.

 

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What training do you need to wear a mask? Wow. 

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18 minutes ago, Yearnin' for Yermin said:

Also, how many more die around the world due to the food shortages? How many more die from suicide, drug overdoses or subsequent damage from drugs due to depression from this shutdown? At what point does the damage done outweigh the damage we are preventing. 

How many have committed suicide from being home for a month? How many OD'd because of this? It's nothing but a talking point. Blowing off social distancing would blow any of those death counts away.  And those numbers would just get worse as well. Even while being stuck at home, it's blown it away. The plants will be open because that is what Tyson wants. It's not right for the workers. But Trump is playing to CEO's not for heath and safety, but for votes and cash. . Sickening. 

Edited by Dick Allen
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20 minutes ago, Texsox said:

What training do you need to wear a mask? Wow. 

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30 minutes ago, Texsox said:

They weren't going to vote for Trump anyway. 

It is interesting that meat production would be considered essential. I'm guessing vegetarians would say otherwise. Actually I'm slightly surprised that any agricultural worker would be essential. We are currently a net importer of human food items. We are trying to so hard to build a wall and stop a lot of those ag workers from even getting to the US. If we really feel that the work is essential we should be looking at a guest worker program and allowing them in through the front door. 

 

29 minutes ago, Yearnin' for Yermin said:

Also, how many more die around the world due to the food shortages? How many more die from suicide, drug overdoses or subsequent damage from drugs due to depression from this shutdown? At what point does the damage done outweigh the damage we are preventing. 

We went through this when packaging companies were taken to task in The Jungle.  They swore regulation and common sense would put the price of food out of range of the common person, and it would put farmers out of business.  That never happened.  It is also worth noting that if the President's economic plans hadn't have largely destroyed farming in this country over the past couple of years, the industry wouldn't be in such dire straights already.

To spin this back around, how much death from the food supply are you willing to tolerate, especially with the consequences for those poisonings being largely removed.

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18 minutes ago, Dick Allen said:

How many have committed suicide from being home for a month? How many OD'd because of this? It's nothing but a talking point. Blowing off social distancing would blow any of those death counts away.  And those numbers would just get worse as well. Even while being stuck at home, it's blown it away. The plants will be open because that is what Tyson wants. It's not right for the workers. But Trump is playing to CEO's not for heath and safety, but for votes and cash. . Sickening. 

It also ignores the fact that these types of situations have been life for a long time for a lot of people in poverty.  Now that it is happening to other people, the middle class is taking notice.

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testing back up to 14,500 yesterday in illinois. Cases up to 2100, so pretty much at the 15% mark.

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1 hour ago, bmags said:

testing back up to 14,500 yesterday in illinois. Cases up to 2100, so pretty much at the 15% mark.

The best countries (in terms of effective testing) have been been at the 2-7% range, correct?   On the plus side, it’s better than the national average for the entire country, largely skewed upwards because of NY/NJ.

 


 

And, drum roll please, the biggest recipients of SBA loans?


Ashford and two real estate investment trusts that it advises, Ashford Hospitality Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts, collectively applied for $126 million for 130 hotels and luxury resorts across the country that employed 14,000 people.

All three are headed by Dallas hotelier Monty J. Bennett. The companies had combined revenue of $2.2 billion last year. They sought PPP loans for each hotel location with 500 or fewer employees.

The companies earlier disclosed receiving $58.7 million in loans for hotels branded with some of the industry’s biggest names, such as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Westin. In new regulatory filings Friday, the companies reported millions more in approved loans.

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/local-companies/2020/04/26/publicly-traded-dallas-hotel-group-says-its-keeping-126-million-in-small-business-rescue-loans/?utm_content=bufferfdbb6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Quite the list of political contributions during the 2016 cycle from Mr. Bennett, lol...$143,250 to Trump Victory and that’s just the starter.  He can afford nearly $400k in political contributions, but can’t manage to take care of his employees?  

https://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/monty-bennett.asp?cycle=16

 

Edited by caulfield12

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Since Trump claims to be the biggest cheerleader, he should visit the meatpacking plants he is ordering open and have a rally. No mask.

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8 minutes ago, caulfield12 said:

The best countries (in terms of effective testing) have been been at the 2-7% range, correct?   On the plus side, it’s better than the national average for the entire country, largely skewed upwards because of NY/NJ.

South Korea is hanging out at 2%. That's where you have to be, combined with aggressive tracing, to have any shot at control when businesses open, because you know that some people will pass it along without showing symptoms and you have to be ready to track down those clusters before they spread..

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16 minutes ago, Dick Allen said:

Since Trump claims to be the biggest cheerleader, he should visit the meatpacking plants he is ordering open and have a rally. No mask.

At the very least, a Waffle House.  Doing that might help him clinch Georgia, Florida...and protect Sen. Kelly “Insider Trading” Loeffler simultaneously.   Plus, the cholesterol numbers are right in his normal fine dining wheelhouse. 

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3 hours ago, StrangeSox said:

How about Amazon employees being underpaid and working in dangerous conditions while Bezos becomes unfathomably wealthy off of their labor?

 

Edit: I bet all those travel CEO's are still doing much, much, much better than the hundreds of thousands of low wage workers who have been laid off in their industry.

Can't speak for all the airlines but I know United Airline's CEO and President aren't taking a salary for the time being. Conversely, my friend who works there has no work to do but is still employed and is guaranteed to be employed through September (unless he violates the code of conduct). So he's currently making his full salary to trade stocks and answer a few emails a day.

Pretty sure airlines who took bailout money can't lay off their workers until a given date so not sure this is the best example. 

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10 minutes ago, caulfield12 said:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/04/28/pence-mayo-clinic-mask-nr-vpx.cnn
 

Really, not wearing a mask at the Mayo Clinic, Mr. VP?   Just do it to set an example, instead of being stubborn/macho or whatever not wearing a mask signifies these days...

So if Pence had COVID, there was a 70% transmission chance between him and the people who were masked.

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