No work no eat

Robert Reich on Trump’s kill them all plan to “re-open the economy”:

Donald Trump is getting nervous. Internal polls show him losing in November unless the economy comes roaring back.

But of course the economy isn’t going to “come roaring back” no matter what Trump does. But never mind that, he’s going to force a re-opening no matter how many people die gasping for breath.

Step 1: make it a choice between the virus and starvation.

Trump’s labor department has decided that furloughed employees “must accept” an employer’s offer to return to work and therefore forfeit unemployment benefits, regardless of Covid-19.

Trump’s ally, Iowa’s Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, says employees cannot refuse to return to work for fear of contracting the disease. “That’s a voluntary quit,” making someone ineligible for benefits.

Pure evil.

GOP officials in Oklahoma are even threatening to withhold the $600 a week of extra unemployment benefits Congress has provided workers, if an employer wants to hire them. Safety is irrelevant.

“If the employer will contact us … we will cut off their benefits,” says Teresa Thomas Keller of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Step 2 is secrecy. Block Fauci from talking to Congress; dawdle over testing.

Step 3: sing a song of freedom.

Trump called on citizens to “LIBERATE” states like Michigan, whose Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, imposed strict stay-at-home rules.

Michigan has the third-highest number of Covid-19 deaths in America, although it is 10th in population. When on Thursday Whitmer extended the rules to 28 May, gun-toting protesters rushed the state house chanting: “Lock her up!”

Trump said she should “make a deal” with the gun-toting fascists.

Meanwhile, the attorney general, William Barr, has directed the justice department to take legal action against any state or local authorities imposing lockdown measures that “could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens”.

Making this about “freedom” is absurd. Freedom is meaningless for people who have no choice but to accept a job that risks their health.

Naw, the right to die for the boss is the most sacred right of all.

Step 4: give employers a “liability shield” against lawsuits by workers and customers.

No price is too high to pay for Donald Trump’s continued tyranny.

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