The catastrophic failure to shrink global inequality has given COVID-19 the perfect breeding ground: tens of millions of people are at risk of hunger, extreme poverty, sickness and death because, overwhelmingly, most countries do not spend enough on public healthcare, and they have weak social safety nets and poor labor rights.
Now, this is a feature, not a bug, of the supply chain of global capitalism—keep people poor, enslaved and desperate as a way of making huge profits. To be sure, as I discussed in a recent episode, workers in Haiti, one of the poorest countries on the planet, were barely hanging on before the pandemic—now, they’ve been shoved deeper into the hole of economic deprivation.
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But, the U.S. ranks last out of the wealthy G7 countries and trails 17 low-income countries like Liberia when it comes to laws that stop anti-unionism or where there is a livable minimum wage. Paul O’Brien, Oxfam’s Vice President and the author of a forthcoming book, “Power Switch: How We Can Reverse Extreme Inequality”, joins the show to discuss the organization’s new data.
Even though I’m a political junkie, I’ve usually stayed away from too much in-depth electoral politics on the show, mainly to try to use this time to talk about stuff most of my audience is not going to find elsewhere. But since we are just two weeks away from the election, I picked a few thoughts from the vast amount of posts and analysis I’ve been doing in other places for the last year with the bottom line: a landslide is coming (if you want a truly long in-depth analysis you can over to the Working Life website and read it all there).
-- Jonathan Tasini
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