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Related Categories: U.S. | Labor & Workers
May Day 2020: Every End is a New Beginning
by Working Class is The Essential Class
Friday May 1st, 2020 11:20 AM
We celebrate May First, May Day, around the world as International Workers Day, which began in this country in the struggle for the 8 hour day in the late 19th Century.
With a worldwide pandemic in progress, May Day 2020 is clearly a watershed as it not only exposed the private profit healthcare system in the United States for being a total failure in being able to address a public health emergency, it demonstrated that the private profit system is unable to prevent the accompanying economic catastrophe caused by the mandatory shut down of many places of employment, resulting in over 30 million people losing their job due to the pandemic, including at least 70,000 San Francisco residents and at least 3.4 million California residents, and a probable 30% real unemployment rate in the United States. The final April unemployment figures will be released on Friday, May 8, 2020. See http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

The American economy was already collapsing before the March 2020 lockdowns and quarantines. See http://www.shadowstats.com/

In California, we see no end in sight of the lockdown/quarantine, which has been in effect for 7 weeks. There is still no schedule for opening the closed businesses such as retail clothing stores, hotels and restaurants, all of which employ hundreds of thousands of people. Downtown San Francisco now looks like a graveyard with boarded up hotels, restaurants, retail clothing stores and other businesses. Cars are few and far between on the roads and the only sounds we hear are from the seagulls, pigeons, crows, doves and sparrows.

Since 80% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, when they lose their job, they cannot afford to pay the rent or buy food. They also usually lose their employer-funded health insurance. Before the current pandemic, we had plenty of hunger in America. In the Bronx, New York City, 37% regularly went hungry. See https://www.mintpressnews.com/food-banks-struggle-cope-demand-desperate-farmers-dump-unsellable-produce/266958/ and https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/hunger/

Millions of people are now lining up at food banks, which are now running out of food since neither the federal nor state governments have been buying up all the food and milk being destroyed, previously sent to the now closed schools, restaurants, hotels and stadiums, and giving it to food banks. It should be illegal to destroy food and milk and be required to give it to food banks if there is no government buyer. The spring crop was being destroyed at the beginning of April 2020.

Finally, by April 27, 2020, the millionaire Democratic New York governor announced, on C-SPAN, PBS and CNN on his daily press conference carried around 8:30 a.m. Pacific time, a program to buy the food and milk being destroyed in upstate New York and give it to the food banks in densely populated New York City, the leading hot spot in the nation for the pandemic as the workingclass has grossly inadequate healthcare, housing and wages.

By April 29, 2020, California, the state that produces the most food of any state in the union and is the 5th largest economy in the world, had raised enough money from charity and giving farmers tax credits to transfer the food surplus in California to food banks and from a waiver from the federal government, now has the ability to have its food stamp (EBT) recipients buy food online which can be delivered to their home and with another federal waiver, can have food originally sent to schools now sent to food banks. This was announced by the millionaire California Democratic governor on April 29, 2020 at his daily noon press conference carried live on KPIX (CBS) and online on YouTube recorded by NBC News and can be found below all the California (by county), United States (by state) and Global (by country) figures on COVID19 for the cases, deaths and recovered cases, updated daily at https://www.bing.com/search?q=United+States+coronavirus+deaths&search=&pc=U316&form=CHRDEF

The horror of this food destruction due to lack of profits, but not lack of need, is described as follows in https://www.liberationnews.org/urgent-farmworkers-threatened-with-pay-cuts-while-crops-destroyed/. :
“Dairy Farmers of America have estimated that farmers are dumping some 3.7 million gallons of milk each day. The New York Times has reported that a single chicken processor is smashing 750,000 unhatched eggs every week. Farmers in Florida and the Midwest are using tractors to turn over fields and rip up crops.”

The fastest and most comprehensive way to fund all of these programs is to tax the rich with raising the progressive income tax on the rich, the millionaires and billionaires. In the US, we have 11 million millionaires including 585 billionaires. In California we have 663,000 millionaire households including 124 billionaires. The rich can pay for all affordable housing, food for the poor, and all needed medical supplies. This is the richest country in the world; there is no excuse for any poverty whatsoever.

The rent, of course, can never be paid until these starving workers are fully employed, and they cannot pay previously owed rent. Mortgages will have to be rescheduled as they were in the 2008 economic collapse. On April 25, 2020, nationwide car caravan protests demanding the rent be cancelled took place in “over 40 cities including: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno (California); Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver and Pasco (Washington state); Salt Lake City, Provo and Cedar Springs (Utah); Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, (Texas); Denver, Colorado Springs (Colorado); Milwaukee and Madison, (Wisconsin); Albany and Queens, (New York); Dayton and Cincinnati, (Ohio); Albuquerque, New Mexico; Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta, Georgia; Boise, Idaho; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Columbia, South Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Knoxville Tennessee; Manchester, New Hampshire; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Newark, New Jersey. New Haven, Connecticut; Reno, Nevada; and Springfield, Missouri.” See https://www.liberationnews.org/coast-to-coast-cancel-the-rents-say-car-protesters/

The paltry federal stimulus checks do not go beyond one month in paying the bills, if that, unemployment checks are not enough to live on, and the loans to businesses have either not arrived or have not succeeded in meeting the payroll of these businesses. This means we have no functioning government in the richest country in the world, but instead we have a war machine which always puts guns before butter so as to maximize the profits of the oil companies and the munitions makers, the only reason the military exists. The military continues to perpetrate war crimes around the world supported by the Democratic and Republican Parties which always vote to give billions of our tax dollars every year to the military. In March 2020, they gave over $750 billion to the military, every single penny of which should be immediately transferred to all the social service needs in this country. Some 47% of the federal budget goes to the military, current and past. See the pie chart at https://www.warresisters.org/resources/pie-chart-flyers-where-your-income-tax-money-really-goes

The pandemic has forced the housing of the homeless in hotels to some extent, in states such as California which is receiving federal funds for this program, but it is unknown if this long overdue program will become permanent. The homeless crisis has existed since 1980, under Democratic President Carter.

Meanwhile, this is a presidential election year.

The Democrats’ likely candidate is Joe Biden, who among other things, does not support Medicare for All, HR 1384, which would finally add the United States to the long list of countries which have socialized medicine, and put an end to the insurance-profiteering, employer-linked medical system that does not even provide enough protective gear to its medical staff, much less free, top quality medical care to all who live here. For more on HR 1384, see https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1384/cosponsors?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22HR+1384%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=1
It has 118 co-sponsors and needs 218 to pass. San Francisco’s millionaire Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who receives free healthcare from the taxpayers, does not support HR1384.


For the record, socialized medicine exists in all of Europe, Israel, Rwanda, Cuba, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, China, Taiwan, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand. The US has declining life expectancy since 2014 and has the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality in the industrialized world due to lack of socialized medicine.

Peace & Freedom Party, a socialist party, and the Green Party, are the only two parties which support socialized medicine.

In San Francisco, a Democratic Party stronghold, the Democrats’ Municipal Transportation Agency that manages our bus and train system, is supporting fare increases at a time when (1) service was cut back to 20% of what it once was on April 8, 2020 and (2) the workingclass cannot afford food and rent, much less fare increases. Since bus fares only pay for 20% of the expense of running the urgently needed full bus and train system, the easiest solution is to tax the rich with the progressive income tax, which the Supermajority Democratic Legislature and the Democratic governor could easily do. California has 663,000 millionaire households including 124 billionaires. This includes the 147,400 millionaires and 26 billionaires in San Francisco.

The Republicans’ likely candidate is incumbent Donald Trump, a former lifelong Democrat who gave thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation, better known as Nazi Trump, who has now sunk to the new low of promoting poisonous substances as cures for the virus causing the pandemic. This is criminal insanity which should be grounds for immediate removal from office with the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, but the utter rottenness of the government is so great that there is no attempt to do so. Nazi Billionaire Trump has absolutely nothing to offer the workingclass and only ran for office to enrich himself and his cronies.

Things can no longer go on in the old way. The Black Agenda Report has a good analysis by Glen Ford, its executive editor . See
“Diseased System in Shut-Lockdown: Never a Better Time to Fight for Socialism” by Glen Ford, 4/23/20, at https://www.blackagendareport.com/diseased-system-shut-lockdown-never-better-time-fight-socialism

He states correctly:

“The current health and economic crisis will dramatically accelerate the processes of corporate monopolization, finance capital dictatorship, and working class precarity and immiseration. The only cure is socialism.”

He reminds us that:

“History shows us that economic crises do not become political crises that seriously threaten the ruling order until a critical mass of people come to the realization that the system itself is rotten, unbearable and incapable of meaningful reform.”
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