The coronavirus, the senator in control, and you

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Many, many years ago, when employees worked at the now long-gone chain of five and dime stores known to all as Woolworths, most worked for the minimum wage of seventy-five cents an hour. It was difficult for families to survive.

For employees at many other companies, it was the same. When the minimum wage increased to one dollar an hour, these employees’ hourly wage increased by 25 cents. That was a 33 percent increase.

If it wasn’t for the government and the unions, there would have been no increase. Back then, like now, most employers did not really take good care of their employees. You might ask, what has this got to do with today? Frankly, the situation is similar, but the government is not doing what they should be doing; to watch out for their people.

These days, so many employees and their families are being affected by Covid-19. So far there have been over 13 million cases in the U.S. with more than 250,000 resulting in death. And it has caused so many businesses to shut down or barely survive, making up for lost revenue by cutting costs.

In both cases, it is employees who suddenly find themselves without jobs. With so many families in need, the government, in fact, has become like your employer. Most who are suffering now depend on our government for life-support.

Shortly, there will be more people in that category. Initially, the government responded to those needs by approving a package that provided such support as unemployment benefits, temporary suspension of rent payments and a whole lot more.

However, when the time limit of that life-support package expired, which occurred months ago, the Republicans and Democrats could not reach a deal on how to extend it. Months passed and just last week, it was estimated that 50 million people needed help to simply feed their families.

I’m sure you saw on television the miles of cars lined up waiting for food packages from their local food pantries. What is wrong with the politicians? Who is to blame?

Let’s talk facts. The House of Representatives controlled by the Democrats submitted a relief package months ago that approximated $2 trillion. For those of us who can’t understand that number, in simpler terms, it’s $2 billion dollars multiplied by one thousand.

That package would be more than enough for keeping families from starvation and it would even put a few extra bucks in their pockets, thus preventing them from going deeper into debt.

The Democrats in the Senate went along with that proposal, believing that the government should provide for its people during the worst of times and when this coronavirus pandemic gets under control, a way to replenish the government’s bankroll will be figured out. Saving the people must come first.

But in the Senate, it’s the Republicans who have control and they countered the Democrats’ proposal with a package of $500 billion, or one fourth of the Democrat’s proposal.

In the most basic of terms, it’s like saying that instead of your boss giving you a $5,000 raise, he lowered it to $1,250.

The boss would say that’s all he could afford as he drives away in his Mercedes. The Republicans tried to justify their package by saying that they were looking towards the future, not knowing how it would be paid back to replenish the coffers.

Realistically, when you must survive today. you must forget about tomorrow. And do you know what Republican senator is most responsible for blocking the Senate from approving those funds? He pretends to negotiate, but all he does is increase his bonus offer from $1,250 to $1,275 and states that it is the Democrats who refuse to negotiate.

The senator who is leading the charge to hold back those funds from the American public is Mitch McConnell. This shows that he doesn’t care about his electorate but fronts for his wealthy backers and corporations and follows the whims and directives of President Trump. And remember the two words that define Trump: “You’re Fired.”

I’ve presented the facts. It’s time not only for the people of Kentucky but for all of us, to go after Mitch McConnell. After all, he’s supposed to represent “We the People.”

Stop him before it’s too late. We need to get what we need to support our families and we deserve to stay safe.

Alvin Goldberg

Great Neck

 

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