This post is also available in: Portuguese
A Report From Roosevelt Field Mall
By Mark Lesseraux
I was in Roosevelt Field mall last night. I was not there to shop. The mall was completely packed with people. Between 65 to 75% of these people were wearing masks over their noses and mouths. The rest were not. All the major corporately owned chain stores were wide open for business, as was the chain-restaurant dominated food court where just about all the seats were filled with people eating food and talking.
All this to say, I’m skeptical of the form and the method of implementation that the COVID-19 restrictions have taken so far and that they seem primed to continue to take in the upcoming weeks and months. Restrictions that have been put in place by a corporately dominated network of institutions and government agencies whose first priority is to protect their profit margins and not the health and well being of human beings.
As of January 2nd, 2021, 33% of US homeowners and renters are due to be evicted or foreclosed on. At the same time, (literally) TRILLIONS of dollars in profit have been made over the last 9 months by corporate monopolies who have taken advantage of this crisis to further consolidate power and wealth. Meanwhile, during this power and wealth grab, small and medium sized businesses have been pummeled and in many cases crushed completely by the pandemic and the corresponding restrictions that have been implemented. Only the largest corporations have been consistently able, or perhaps the word is “enabled” to make due and in many cases, to accumulate huge profits throughout 2020.
Relatedly, a few days ago the most exhaustive study in history on Medicare For All was released by the CBO. It concluded that Medicare For All would save HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS annually. Have you heard anything about this study on CNN or MSNBC or ABC or FOX NEWS or any of the other corporate/super-wealth owned mainstream media companies? Have you heard any mainstream politician from either party talk about the study? Probably not. And if you did it was most likely reduced to a back page or late-night footnote. What you do hear (from both parties), despite overwhelming popular opinion to the contrary, is continued capitulation with for-profit health, drug and insurance companies by corporately funded politicians who are enjoying huge recent tax cuts for the rich and the lowest tax rates that the wealthy have paid in nearly 100 years.
I am not saying that there shouldn’t be restrictions put in place to contain this virus. I am saying that the restrictions that have been put in place so far are selective and that they have been selected in accordance with the interests of the super-wealthy, whose primary aim is profit and not the protection of our health and safety.