Back in the USSR

 

Imagine having a government that cares about average people, helping keep them safe during an emergency and ensuring that the costs of the crisis fall upon the members of society with the most?

You don’t know how lucky you are.

The Russian government, led by Vladimer Putin is quietly setting the example for competent governance that puts the average Russian citizen first as opposed to ours which serves of the wealthy and powerful.

Of course, you’d be hard pressed to learn of such information if you depend on the corporate media, who’ve spent the last fours years in a nonstop hue and cry about the perfidy of the dastardly Russians and the their evil leader bad-Vlad. In fact they’re still hard at work demonizing the Russians, even in the midst of the pandemic.

What’s amusing is that it doesn’t take Russia or any foreign government to highlight the way in which the Coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that the incompetent sociopaths who rule us are far more concerned about Wall Street profits than the American people, and for all intents and purposes have turned our country into the worlds largest corporate sacrifice zone.

The recent bailout demonstrated the priorities of President Trump and the thoroughly corrupt Congress. Congress just passed a $2 trillion stimulus package for which the American taxpayer will be held entirely responsible. Even worse, the new legislation contains a $500 billion allocation that the Federal Reserve will use as a capital base for borrowing $4.5 trillion. That massive sum of money will be used to buy toxic bonds in the corporate bond market, and fund underwater banks and hedge funds. These financial actors have gorged on the cheap money provided by the Fed for the last 12 years through Quantitative Easing (QE), in the process speculating on numerous socially destructive endeavors. The most pernicious misallocation of capital has been the shale oil boom driven by drillers with access to this unlimited supply of money. In the process they poisoned the water table and despoiled millions of acres, but who’s counting?

The larger problem is that the mis-investment in fracking was magnified by derivatives stacked upon derivatives like a ticking time-bomb.  The virus was merely the proximate cause. The problem had been festering for years and everyone in the financial community (including the Fed, the BIS and the IMF) knew that it was only a matter of time before it would explode.

Hence Trump’s phone call. On Monday Donald Trump called Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss plunging oil prices that are wreaking havoc on America’s shale oil industry. The two leaders talked briefly about the coronavirus pandemic but quickly switched to Trump’s real concern which is oil production.

The phone call has gotten almost no coverage in the American media, which is to be expected since there’s no way to spin an incident in which an American president is clearly pleading to “evil” Putin for a favor.

While US leaders focus on the plunging stock market and exploding derivatives, back in the USSR, Russia, Putin has settled on a more rational and compassionate plan. He’s going to launch a relief program that actually focuses on the people who need it the most. Then, he’s going to cover the costs by taxing the people who are most capable of shouldering the burden.

Here’s an excerpt of the speech Putin delivered last week. “We also need to take additional steps, primarily to ensure the social protection of our people, their incomes and jobs, as well as support for small and medium-sized businesses, which employ millions of people….

First, all social protection benefits that our citizens are entitled to, should be renewed automatically over the next six months… if a family is entitled to subsidized housing and utility payments, they will not need to regularly confirm their per capita income to continue receiving this state support…all payments to war veterans and home-front workers timed to the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, 75,000 and 50,000 rubles, respectively, should be made before the May holidays…

Second, it is essential to support families with children……..Third, we need to support those on sick leave and people who have lost their jobs.” 

It’s apparent that Putin understands that the health and welfare of the Russian people has to be put before the stock market, finance capital or sleazy corporate CEO’s. In contrast, Trump wants to put more people at risk of infection by sending them back to work after Easter.

In America, we make labor pay for the excesses of capital, while in Russia, the wealthy are asked to make sacrifices for the sake of the country. Which approach do you think is better?

Americans have been so propagandized in favor of rugged-individualism that they probably would rather die on the sidewalk than accept single-payer health care but the pandemic looks to seriously challenge that notion.

Meanwhile, trust in our feral elite and the corporate media is already waning. The lies about Washington’s wars—“weapons of mass destruction,” “Iranian nukes,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons”—and the Russia-gate hoax, have seriously undermined the credibility of Washington and the US print and TV media.

However, it’s hard to get an old dog to learn new tricks. Imagine the reaction of the corporate media if Trump emulates Russia’s response in the aftermath of his phone call to Putin?

Jeebus! If you thought Russia-gate was bad, you ain’t seen nothing.

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