Category Archives: Politics

China prohibits PPE exports, Trump considers suing.

Per the New York Post:

Leading US manufacturers of medical safety gear told the White House that China prohibited them from exporting their products from the country as the coronavirus pandemic mounted — even as Beijing was trying to “corner the world market” in personal protective equipment, The Post has learned.

The Chinese government should prohibit manufacturers from exporting medical safety gear out of China.  That’s the responsible thing to do. 

And if China is trying to “corner the market” for PPE, that just makes them smart.  It’s the kind of thing the United States would have done in the days before we became a banana republic.

Meanwhile, the Post also reports that

Now, the Trump administration is weighing legal action against China over its alleged actions, a lawyer for President Trump said Sunday.

This is ridiculous.  Trump doesn’t need to sue China.  He just needs to repatriate the manufacturing.  Problem solved.

You’re welcome.

No security for U.S. workers is likely to be forthcoming.

Saagar Enjeti said today 1 that, “People need certainty from their government that the check will come.” 

While Saagar does excellent work and I’m a big fan, he doesn’t understand that certainly is the last thing the ruling class ever wants its underlings to have.  Here’s Alan Greenspan explaining it:

For more than a year now, Mr. Greenspan has been gradually building his case that downsizing and job insecurity have altered the normal workings of the American economy, and yesterday he spelled out this view more pointedly and in more detail than before. Other factors have contributed to “the softness in compensation growth” despite a low unemployment rate, he said, but “I would be surprised if they were nearly as important as job insecurity.”

Greenspan is saying quite bluntly that insecure workers are easier to control and exploit.  The big people don’t ever want workers to be anything but insecure.

During World War II, while the Allies were willing to put women to work in the factories while the men went off to fight, Hitler refused to do likewise — this despite the fact that the shortage of workers was hampering the German war effort.  Hitler understood that once he took women out of the homes and put them into workplaces, it would be hard to get them out again — as the United States found out with the women’s movement of the 60s, due in no small part to women’s refusal to re-adhere to traditional norms after the experiences of the War.2 

Similarly, if the ruling class were to give workers any certainty during this crisis, workers would come to expect it.  Indeed, they would demand it once the crisis passes, because they would know it had been possible all along. 

This is the last thing the ruling class wants, and so they can be expected to resist this until the threat of open revolt is so great as to drown them all in terror.

For Bernie, supporting Democrats is more important than M4A.

Jimmy Dore is reporting that Trump is going to provide Medicare for all for the uninsured related to corona treatment.

Dore reports that, at the same time, Bernie has said in an April 4 fundraising email: “Let me be clear: I am not proposing that we pass Medicare for All in this moment.  That fight continues into the future.”

Finally, Dore says he doesn’t understand what Bernie is doing.

To see the answer, I suggest the following:  In 2009, the late great Alex Cockburn wrote the following at his CounterPunch website:

After reelection, Nixon did promote a health plan in his 1974 State of the Union speech, with a call for universal access to health insurance. He followed up with his Comprehensive Health Insurance Act on February 6, 1974. Nixon said his plan would build on existing employer-sponsored insurance plans and would provide government subsidies to the self-employed and small businesses to ensure universal access to health insurance. Kennedy went through the motions of cooperation, but in the end the AFL-CIO, with a covert nudge from Kennedy, killed the bill because Nixon was vanishing under the Watergate scandal and the Democrats did not want to hand the President and the Republicans one of their signature issues. Now the Republicans scream “socialism” at exactly what Nixon proposed and Kennedy killed off 38 years ago, in 1971.

Ted Kennedy wanted health care reform, but only with a Democrat in the White House.  Kennedy did not want Nixon or the Republicans to get credit for it.

Bernie, similarly, wants Medicare for All, but he doesn’t want Trump or the Republicans to get credit for it. 

Which means that Bernie has a priority higher than Medicare for All:  Supporting the Democrat party.