Our Government Has Failed Us

Our+Government+Has+Failed+Us

Graphic by Rachel Singleton

Imagine living in the “richest nation in the world” but not being able to feed your family. Imagine living in a nation where the DOW Jones passed 30,000 points this year but not being able to afford your rent. Imagine living in a nation where the government can afford to give the rich over one trillion dollars in tax cuts but cannot afford to give its citizens universal healthcare in the middle of a pandemic.
For too many Americans, this is not something that they have to imagine. This is what they are forced to go through every day. According to the organization Feeding America, over 37 million people are facing hunger in the United States. According to the Aspen Institute, an estimated 30-40 million people are at risk of getting evicted from their homes and becoming homeless. According to the CDC, over 30 million people in the United States do not have any health insurance.
However, the people on the top are doing very well. Big corporations are receiving large bailouts and low-interest loans from our government. According to an article on Business Insider, billionaires have increased their collective net worth by over $700 billion dollars during the pandemic. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the US, added over 85 billion to his net worth in 2020.
This level of income inequality is no accident. This is a result of a government that cares more about the corporate elite instead of the working people of this country. The latest proposed stimulus package only includes about $600 in direct payment checks to Americans and $300 per week in unemployment insurance but includes tax deductions for corporate lunches.
Mitch McConnell, the senate majority leader, has been advocating for corporate liability insurance that would prevent businesses from being held accountable for unsafe practices that could lead to COVID-19 cases and deaths. Both the president-elect Joe Biden and the current president Donald Trump do not support Medicare for All despite the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic.
It is clear that we cannot wait for the government to come to its senses and give the people what they deserve. However, the workers of this country hold incredible leverage. If a large number of people in various industries went on strike, demanding better treatment from our government, then the wealth of the billionaires in this country would drop. The politicians, seeing the wealth of their corporate donors shrink, would decide that it would be better to give the people what they deserve rather than see their power and influence disappear.
A general strike of this magnitude would require large coordination between workers, but if successful, would change society for the better. We must never forget that, despite all of the money and influence of the elites, the workers are the ones who run this country. We must remember that we deserve better. United, we will be victorious.