Lockdowns as class warfare of the rich and the professional class against the working class
A year after "15 days to flatten the curve" began our lockdowns, we have enough data to answer the classic question about lockdowns (which still exist a year later in many places, including much of California): cui bono? (Who benefits?)
Twitter video screen grab (cropped).
The answer is, as an individual, Jeff Bezos. His stock in Amazon, the single biggest beneficiary of lockdowns, is worth billions of dollars more than before the lockdown. As a group: educated professionals, able to work from home via Zoom and other internet-based services and able to afford home delivery. The Ace of Spades pungently summarizes:
The general lockdowns weren't general lockdowns. As a friend said, we didn't have a lockdown, we had poor people delivering s--- to rich people.
Instead of protecting the people really at risk, the Ruling Class — the "Zoom class," the people who can work completely remotely — protected itself, and killed half a million people.
Small businesses, the bedrock base of the GOP, have been severely damaged and even bankrupted in mass numbers. Government workers, the base of the Democrats, have not missed any paychecks for the most part.
Unionized teachers in public schools, members of the lower-income tier of educated professionals, still have not gone to work in schools in many places, as their unions scheme to use taxpayer relief dollars to pay them bonuses for trips to Hawaii and other goodies, while supermarket and other retail clerks have labored unceasingly, interacting with adult members of the public who are a far greater health risk than children.
Oxfam, nobody's idea of a right-wing outfit, reports on its own study of the economic impact of COVID, "The Inequality Virus":
The report shows that COVID-19 has the potential to increase economic inequality in almost every country at once, the first time this has happened since records began over a century ago. Rising inequality means it could take at least 14 times longer for the number of people living in poverty to return to pre-pandemic levels than it took for the fortunes of the top 1,000, mostly White male, billionaires to bounce back. (snip)
The world's ten richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began — more than enough to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine for everyone and to ensure no one is pushed into poverty by the pandemic. At the same time, the pandemic has ushered in the worst job crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now underemployed or out of work.
Martin Kulldorff, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, has a Twitter account full of stunning statistics. Way back in April last year, he advised that locking down the entire society made no sense, because most age groups are at little risk of mortality from COVID:
"Since COVID-19 operates in a highly age specific manner, mandated counter measures must also be age specific. If not, lives will be unnecessarily lost." https://t.co/M0FQOVgQZy pic.twitter.com/8XR9869fHe— Martin Kulldorff (@MartinKulldorff) April 10, 2020
He reiterated that point the day before yesterday:
No. Thinking that everyone must be vaccinated is as scientifically flawed as thinking that nobody should. COVID vaccines are important for older high-risk people, and their care-takers. Those with prior natural infection do not need it. Nor children. https://t.co/qXtpM3QRY3— Martin Kulldorff (@MartinKulldorff) March 16, 2021
One person who listened to Dr. Kulldorff was Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis:
After @GovRonDeSantis had talked to @MartinKulldorff & @MLevitt_NP2013 at the end of September 2020 👇 Florida decided against further lockdowns.— SecondOpinion 🙂 (@DaFeid) March 8, 2021
California went the "John Snow" way with further lockdowns.
Which way was better? Draw your own conclusion.https://t.co/41Jo4uGAil pic.twitter.com/ZUqA2aZ6Xn
Florida has avoided the huge costs imposed on Californians, New Yorkers, and others economically crippled by lockdowns, and done at least as well as they did when it comes to mortality.
Forcing lower-income people to work as clerks, delivery people, and other service occupations exposes them to more risk than the Zoom Class endures. A study from Toronto, where a general lockdown was enforced, is revealing:
Of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods, in the 2nd wave…— Kelly Brown (@rubiconcapital_) March 15, 2021
The 35 lowest income neighbourhoods vs. the 35 highest income neighbourhoods had*:
2.9x more cases
2.7x more hospitalizations
2.2x more deaths
*all figures are per 100,000 pic.twitter.com/Ms6WCQ0yBE
America's progressives, when forced to choose between strengthening arbitrary state power and protecting the lower-income working classes, seems to choose government power. Why is it that Republican governors like DeSantis do a better job of protecting the welfare the working class than Democrats like Andrew Cuomo? Maybe because Progressives are elitists who believe they are better, smarter, and more virtuous and should tell everyone else how to live.