HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » 'It's Morally Repulsive' ...

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 12:07 PM

'It's Morally Repulsive' For Corporations To Exploit The Crisis, Workers Will Suffer: Robert Reich

'It's morally repulsive how corporations are exploiting this crisis. Workers will suffer,' By Robert Reich, The Guardian, March 22, 2020. Using power and privilege to exploit the weak and vulnerable in the face of a common threat is morally repugnant. Call it ‘Burring’ after Richard Burr’s stock sell-off. Excerpts:

Societies gripped by a cataclysmic wars, depressions, or pandemics can become acutely sensitive to power and privilege.

Weeks before the coronavirus virus crushed the US stock market, Republican senator Richard Burr apparently used information he gleaned from his role as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee about the ferocity of the coming pandemic to unload 33 stocks held by him and his spouse. They were estimated at being worth between $628,033 and $1.72m , in some industries likely to be hardest hit by the global outbreak. While publicly parroting Trump’s happy talk at the time, Burr confided to several of his political funders that the disease would be comparable to the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. Then the market tanked, along with the retirement savings of millions of Americans. Even some pundits on Fox News are now calling for Burr’s resignation. When society faces a common threat, exploiting a special advantage is morally repugnant. Call it “Burring.” However tolerable Burring may be in normal times, it isn’t now.



- Republican senator Richard Burr apparently used information he gleaned from his role as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee about the coming pandemic to unload 33 stocks held by him & his spouse. Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

In normal times, corporations get special favors from Washington in exchange for generous campaign contributions, and no one bats an eye. Recall the Trump tax cut, which delivered $1.9tn to big corporations and the wealthy. The coronavirus should have altered business as usual. But last week’s Senate Republican relief package, giving airlines $58bn and billions more to other industries, is pure Burring. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell tried lamely to distinguish it from the notorious bank bailouts of 2008. “We are not talking about a taxpayer-funded cushion for companies that made mistakes. We are talking about loans, which must be repaid, for American employers whom the government itself is temporarily crushing for the sake of public health.”

But the airlines are big enough to get their own loans from banks at rock-bottom interest rates. Their planes and landing slots are more than adequate collateral. Why do airlines deserve to be bailed out? Over the last decade they spent 96%of their free cash flow, including billions in tax savings from the Trump tax cut, to buy back shares of their own stock. This boosted executive bonuses and pleased wealthy investors but did nothing to strengthen the airlines for the long term. Meanwhile, the four biggest carriers gained so much market power they jacked up prices on popular routes and slashed services (remember legroom and free bag checks?). United CEO Oscar Munoz did his own Burring on Friday, warning that if Congress doesn’t bailout the airline by the end of March, United will start firing its employees...the Republican bill is absurdly stingy toward people, stipulating a one-time payment of up to $1,200 for every adult and $500 per child...

Take a look at how big corporations are treating their hourly workers in this pandemic and you see more Burring. Walmart, the largest employer in America, doesn’t give its employees paid sick leave, and limits its 500,000 part-time workers to 48 hours paid time off per year. This Burring policy is now threatening countless lives. (On one survey, 88% of Walmart employees report sometimes coming to work when sick.) None of the giants of the fast-food industry – McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Duncan Donuts, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Subway – gives their workers paid sick leave, either...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/22/large-corporations-exploiting-coronavirus-crisis

1 replies, 852 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply 'It's Morally Repulsive' For Corporations To Exploit The Crisis, Workers Will Suffer: Robert Reich (Original post)
appalachiablue Mar 2020 OP
RussBLib Mar 2020 #1

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 10:48 PM

1. The GOP is sure exploiting the crisis

A $500 billion slush fund, and they don't even have to say who is getting the money?! I don't think so!

Trump's in heaven.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread