Letter to President Elect Biden

November 7, 2020

For months, I have been telling people you’ll win, and we’ll win! I have supported you and other Democrats along the way and have given money generously to help make this happen. 

I want to respectfully make an urgent recommendation to you as you prepare to start your term: Please make inequality a top priority issue for your administration.

Economic inequality has steadily increased since Reagan.Since Reagan, I have been disappointed with our Presidents, both Republican and Democrat. None have done justice to our underprivileged. We now have the highest inequality in the developed world.

I don’t give our Presidents a pass because of Congress being divided, because no one even made inequality a priority. I hope you will be the first to do so. Just make it a priority and measure it.  Measure poverty, inequality, jobs, living wages, etc. Talk about it in all your Presidential addresses. Insist on steady improvement.

I urge you to create a series of local commissions in your first 90 days, including both Conservative and Progressive leaders, from Congress, from local governments, from local educational institutions, and from local businesses. Start these local commissions in a dozen of our cities. Insist on recommendations in three months and proceed from there. Don’t allow it to languish.

We do not seek total equality, nor should we. We will always have inequality and our poor will always be with us. We don’t want to kill or suppress motivation and innovation. We should continue to reward those who succeed. But what you must seek is a major swing of the pendulum, a move to significantly reduced inequality and poverty. Research has shown that inequality at high levels slows economic growth, increases health risks, increases mortality, crime, drugs and a host of other problems that diminish what America is and stands for.

You can make it clear to your Conservative friends that the goal is a nation with living wage jobs for all who can work. The goal is not to moderate inequality only with welfare, taxes, and increased national debt. 

There are many levers for you to pull to advance this critical agenda. Some progress must come from tax reform: reducing taxes for the middle class and below, raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations, raising capital gains taxes, etc. But we should not overly burden corporations and wealthy. We do not want to kill or suppress motivation and reward for hard work and innovation.

Another lever is education. Free college for all is probably not the best solution for now. But you must find the way to make good academic and vocational education at all levels accessible to all who are able to study.

Another is housing policy. Rule and regulations prohibit the construction of affordable housing nationwide. NIMBYs resist. You must knock down those regulations and permit large scale affordable housing throughout our nation.

Another is health care. We may not be ready for Medicare for All, but more needs to be done in extending the reach of the ACA.

Perhaps the most critical lever is in creating a reformed capitalist system which provides opportunity for our workers to obtain jobs with decent wages, or to start businesses with substantially less red tape and with government supported training. This is the charge you must give the commissions—find the avenues, which may differ from one region to another. Then, provide government incentives to accelerate promising programs.

If you insist that the goal is not socialism, just a more moderately aligned inequality, not for more welfare, but for a better way to enable opportunities for more people to hold good jobs, pay taxes and support our government, you can navigate the pressures from both sides. You’ll need to deny some Progressive proposals and support some Conservative proposals. It’s about “possibilities,” using your own terminology.

You can constantly remind everyone that success in this is not just for our underprivileged, it’s for everyone. It’s for a better society with less poverty, less homelessness, and eventually, less welfare. It’s good for taxes and good for the economy, and thus it is also good for our corporations and our wealthy. We don’t really prosper by having CEOs earning 300 times their average employee wage, and we don’t really need the nations’ 400 wealthiest billionaires owning more wealth than the bottom 60 percent of Americans. Something more moderate will be more than adequate for billionaire ownership of national wealth and for CEO motivation. I am among the privileged of our nation, and I am willing to sacrifice to make the collective better for all. 

If you don’t somehow manage to address and improve on this major problem, I won’t be alone among loyal Democrats becoming critics of this administration, as I most certainly have been of others—both Democrat and Republican.

If you succeed, you’ll join a very small number of American leaders who have made a real positive difference.

Please let me know how I can help.

Death of the American Dream

What Happened to the American Dream?

Many kids, like me, first generation college, with farm and factory parents realized the American Dream.

Ours was postwar America, a time of relative prosperity, when a poor kid could afford a decent college, when good jobs were abundant, and when wages were good. 

Introducing the Great Society in 1964 at the University of Michigan, Lyndon Johnson said, “The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time.”

What went wrong with the Great Society, the American Dream?  First, many were left behind: I was among the later to wake up to that. I didn’t protest the many injustice to our minorities which persisted throughout the Great Society years.

I didn’t even notice how democracy was becoming synonymous with capitalism. I was busy realizing my American Dream, the dream for a poor kid from the tobacco fields of North Carolina. I didn’t try to understand who was left behind or why, as I made my own journey.

So, I was late to see that most of us Boomers who made it were white males. I was late to realize how very different it was for those without my attributes. For a black woman finishing high school in my year, the future would have been very different, and very, very difficult. That’s what Martin Luther King was talking about, a different “Dream,” for all, one that has yet to be realized. 

During the sixties and seventies, we had inequality and poverty. But CEO salaries were only about 20 times that of the average worker. The middle class and lower class had a decent share of national wealth. But in the eighties, there was a major shift in policy and economics emanating from the Reagan era, which affected everyone in the next generation, except the wealthy: 

How did the Great Society evolve to a nation in which the top 1% of Americans now own 40% of the nation’s wealth? And the income gap shows the same pattern as the wealth gap. The launching of neoliberal economic policy changed everything. CEO salaries skyrocketed, now reaching 278 times that of their employees’ average. And neither Democratic nor Republican administrations have done much to change it. The American Dream was being destroyed. 

I have asked myself, what have I done? I have contributed thousands of hours of time and seven figure amounts of money to causes which benefit people with a variety of needs they cannot afford to meet. But is that enough? The answer is easy: No! It’s not enough. I feel like Oskar Schindler at the end of Schindler’s List: “I could have done more, so much more!”

But is philanthropy the answer to poverty and inequality? Hurrah for those who have money and seek out the most needed causes to support, those of the poor. But a study by Google in 2005 found that only 8% of all philanthropy went to the basic needs of the poor and another 23% to programs such as medical, empowerment and education—about 1/3 of philanthropy in total to those in need. 69% went elsewhere.

Total US philanthropy in 2019 was $450 billion. If 1/3 went to those in need, that is $150 billion, to be divided among 38 million Americans in poverty, or $3,947.37 per person in poverty. Philanthropy is not the answer. We cannot funnel more and more wealth to the already rich, in hopes that they will rescue our poor.

There is a concept in sociology, an explanation of the nature of society. The “conflict perspective” holds that the inevitable and continuing nature of society is a contest between the haves and the have-nots. Poverty and inequality are inevitable, because those in power, the capitalists, need low wages to maximize their profits and their wealth. This is the way it is. This is the way it will always be. The capitalists always win.

We will always have some poverty and inequality, but we can achieve moderation. How about CEO salaries back to maybe 50 times the average worker? How about the upper income bracket rolling back to 60% of all wealth? How about 32% again for the middle-income group and at least 7% for the lower income group? 

We have to change our legal system, change our tax system, and change our capitalism. These institutions are not serving the common good. This is the only answer.

What’s wrong with this set of objectives? It’s not socialism! And, it’s a better, sustainable, United States–for the wealthy and the poor.

Black Lives Matter–a Fundamental Issue

While I have sympathy with a wide variety of arguments and possible solutions, including reforming police and reparations, I would like to argue that the most fundamental issue is, once again, inequality. Economic inequality, and inequality of opportunity.

Why?

Because we can’t prevent young people resorting to dangerous occupations unless they also have opportunity for legal and safe opportunities with promise. We can’t eradicate gun violence in poor communities, without the promise of economic opportunities that do not require guns and killing others. We can’t expect poor whites to accept and respect poor blacks until both have economic opportunity. Opportunity that has, since the 60’s, become increasingly scarce, available only to the privileged few. Billionaire ranks have swelled, while working wages have remained stagnant, and the cost of higher education, health care, and housing have risen dramatically.

By and large, those who have been able to avail themselves of opportunity have been from safe homes with adequate housing and food, and have had opportunity for good education. Those without, both black and white, have been left and lost. Lost to resort to crime and/or welfare.

Welfare has helped to save some lives, and has provided for a time, some small degree of minimally adequate housing and food for some. But welfare is not the answer in the long run. In the long run, what we need is opportunity for all, with the prospect of living wages or better, for all who are able and want to work. For those who are not able, and only those, welfare is the long term answer. We must take care of them.

But this is not an argument for individuality, for everyone being able to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Clearly, our level of inequality and poverty, highest in the developed world, increasing for decades, should be adequate proof that sheer self reliance will work for only a few, leaving tens of millions living on the brink.

Across recent decades, according to Raj Chetty, the chance of a child earning as much as his parents, has dropped from 90% for children born in 1940 to 50% for children born in the 1980s–a huge drop in opportunity, so defined. Why hasn’t this been addressed–by either Republican or Democratic administrations?

The race issue is very complex, and requires conversation and solutions at many levels. Without diminishing this complexity or attempting to simplify the serious matter of George Floyd’s death and Black Lives Matter, I argue that the best of all possible avenues to remedy is to set about to address inequality–inequality of income and wealth, and to get there, inequality of opportunity.

Welfare is not the answer. American’s detest “hand outs,” thus politically a dead end anyway. And welfare is not what the poor want. They want to be able to provide for themselves.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t need or want reasonable help to have a fair chance. That help will require new solutions involving communities, educational institutions, business, and government.

Creating broad economic opportunity will be a slow process, at least a decade process. It won’t “solve” the racism problem, but I argue that it will be a far better foundation from which to further address the problem.

The first step is for the next administration to make its highest priority to create opportunity for all. Secondly, commit to reducing inequality. Third, establish metrics to provide quarterly measures of both.

New solutions must be found. It’s not just a matter of more schools, or free schools. We don’t even know how to create good schools. We have identified some good schools, but we don’t know how to replicate them in different environments, where different solutions are needed. Same for housing, same for health care. All complex.

There’s a lot more to racism and to economic opportunity. Great minds will be required to develop and experiment to find the best avenues. But nothing will be accomplished without a priority commitment. We developed the ability to go to the moon, after our President made it a top objective. We can do this, too.

Trump’s New Fatal Dilemma

May 9 2020

With all the pain and anguish in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, there has emerged a political reality which may offer a huge positive opportunity for America. It may portend the end of the Trump Presidency.

Trump has a “base” of supporters. He has galvanized them around anti-immigrants, gun rights, and “law and order,” among other things. He is widely perceived as racist. These are what raised him up among those on the Right who believe in this kind of world. These are now what could bring him down. The Floyd death has thrust the US into a new era, or perhaps even a new order. This era is most certainly anti-police. It could even be labeled “anti-law and order.”

His new problem: He cannot step up and support Black Lives Matter and defunding of police departments. He can’t because that would be a complete reversal of his “send in the troops,” law and order, and all of that. If he were to do that, he’d risk the loss of a big part of his base, with which he only won the previous election by a narrow margin, losing the popular vote. Losing a big slice of his base would guarantee him a loss in the upcoming elections. When taken with the economic problems coming from the pandemic, and his negative polls in handling of the pandemic, he’d probably be finished.

He can’t take the route that Biden clearly is seizing —to endorse the new movement wholeheartedly.

Even among acquiescent Republican Congressmen, there is a private desire to be rid of this lying pretender. Republican Congressmen would quickly galvanize around a far better Republican in a flash, if they were convinced that his base had eroded substantially. They’re sticking with him because they fear the elective power of his base in turning all deserters promptly out of office.

So, he’s stuck. On the one hand, he is married to his “law and order,” and “send in the troops” proclamations. He must know he really can’t send in more troops and beat his law and order drums more just now. But he can’t back off in his rhetoric. He can’t offer sympathy to the new movement. Many say he doesn’t even know empathy.

On the other hand, as the nation’s titular leader, he needs to respond supportively to this huge vocal contingent. It’s a great leadership opportunity. But he’s trapped. He can only retreat into the Oval Office and hope for the furor to quell—as indeed it has in the aftermath of many another black man’s death by police in our country.

But so far, this one feels different. There is a massive uprising among people of all colors, ages, and types, throughout our country, and, indeed, throughout the world. An Editor of the New York Times is out because he allowed a Tom Cotton editorial in support of “send in the troops.” Ellen Degeneres got in trouble over well intended remarks that went wrong and went viral. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was forced to apologize for speaking out against “disrespecting the flag.” This new powerful movement that could even be labeled “anti-law and order” is only gaining steam. The groundswell of frustration with “law and order” is likely to motivate a turnout among Black Lives sympathizers of all ages and colors, strong enough to significantly increase the voting among liberal progressives in November.

So, even if Trump sticks with his right wing positions, which he most certainly will do and must do, the groundswell of sympathy for the downtrodden is likely to result in far more progressives voting in November.

That’s my prediction.

President Donald J. Trump is caught in a  fatal Catch-22.

 

 

Time for Recovery

Mistakes and Recovery

It’s really, really bad

It’s too bad

We made a mistake

A big mistake

 

Something went wrong

Very wrong

3 years ago

 

We were complacent

Asleep

Lazy

Absent

Didn’t think it could happen

 

Didn’t think he

Could be elected

A liar

A narcissist

A fraud

Big talker

Fake Christian

A showman

A trickster

A con man

Charlatan

 

Only favors the rich

Insults his opponents

Protects his cronies

Forgets the poor

Antagonizes allies

Denies our shores to the threatened

Undermines our press

Cares only for himself

 

A barker at a carnival

Turning our nation

Into a carnival

 

While we were asleep

This is what happened

 

So, it’s on us

We can’t blame others

We failed at the voting booth

 

There were enough of us

To change the outcome

To prevent this disaster

But we didn’t show

 

What’s done is done

No sense crying in our milk

No time for excuses

 

It’s time to recover

 

It’s not all lost

Tougher challenges to this young nation

Have been conquered

Along our way

 

But the time is near

We get another chance

We must choose

There are only two choices

 

One way is domination

Deceit

Subordination

Lies

Prejudice

Economic havoc

 

The other

Honesty

Truth

Freedom of speech and press

Hope

Compassion

And collective good

 

One thing for sure

If you lean Right

And you had unfounded hope

For a better leader

A better time

 

Those hopes have certainly been dashed

 

See you at the voting booth!

 

 

 

Your Purpose

Purpose

Workers–remember

Everyone must have a purpose

That’s what they say

 

A noble calling

Maybe born with it

Or your parents decided

You just thought it up

On your own

Doesn’t matter

How you got it

 

But you hafta have one

It’s the meaning of life

 

Doctor

Lawyer

Scientist

Executive

Preacher

Mayor

Governor

CEO

President

This is the List

 

 

You can choose

But these are the best choices

Best you take one of these

 

Don’t choose activist

Or social worker

God forbid!

 

There’s no excuse

For not having a purpose

Or failing to achieve it

 

That’s what they say

 

They say it doesn’t matter

Whether rich or poor

You must have a purpose

And you must achieve it

Just takes determination

 

Here comes a pandemic

30 million of you

 Unemployed

No paycheck

 

What’s your purpose?

 

What?

You say

You didn’t have time

Or energy

For a purpose?

 

Providing

Is all the purpose

You could afford?

 

And now, just surviving,

Avoiding starvation

Homelessness

That’s your purpose?

 

Only that?

 

You say

41% of Americans

Can’t come up with $250

For this emergency?

 

Is that right?

 

But those in the List

Those with money

They have a purpose

Lofty

Noble

 

Pandemic only a blip

For them

Just ride it out

 

But doesn’t their purpose…

Doesn’t their achievement

 

Depend on you?

Don’t they know that?

5/6/20

 

If You Ever Doubted…

May 5, 2020

I’ve been writing about inequality for some years. I have consistently argued that inequality is the biggest problem of our time–even more than nuclear weapons or climate change–for the US and the world.

Why? Because tens of millions in the US and billions in the world face a range of dire health and living condition outcomes, including food shortage, for those living in the lower levels of inequality. This translates to  the fragility of life, desperation, and undoubtedly one way or another, to millions of deaths globally, annually.

And because the consequences of poverty are immediate, while we have a little time yet to deal with nuclear proliferation and climate change. That’s why.

More than 30 million Americans are suddenly out of work. They are filing for unemployment and desperately waiting for the government checks. My bank says they are fielding thousands of desperate calls from their small business customers.

The early mortality of our poor in the US most likely annually far exceeds the current estimate of 134,000 deaths from the virus. Suffering early mortality or starvation, or poverty related health issues, suicides, etc. Because we can’t develop precise statistics, Americans often dismiss the tragedies of inequality.

Today, I want to emphasize: We have a new context, a new crisis, and a vivid example of the fragility of our economic system.

From today’s Marketplace and Market Morning podcasts:

60% of people say they would have a hard time coming up with $1,000 for an emergency such as this.

41% say they would have trouble coming up with $250 for an emergency such as this.

And, as usual, the % of Blacks and hispanics having trouble with only $250 was significantly higher than 41%.

Here’s the point: What better evidence to illustrate, to prove, that we have evolved into a society, an economy, which does NOT focus on the working class. Does not focus on structuring a new economy to enable everyone who wants to work, to have a stable living wage. Does not even enable its working class to have enough set aside to meet a $1,000, or even $250 emergency need.

If one doesn’t even have that small nest egg, he/she probably can’t even make it a couple weeks to wait for the government check. And, what economists call “windfall” solutions to such an emergency–those are gone also. This includes opportunity for extra hours of work, or help from relatives–who are now in the same boat.

We know the government checks will soon terminate, but jobs will return only slowly,

Income inequality in the US is the highest in all G7 countries.

Wealth inequality is worse, and is worsening year by year.

Bloomberg reports that when the bottom half of the US is added together, this group in aggregate has a negative net worth.

Inequality by any other measure is horrific–white/black, white/hispanic, generational, educational, college/non-college, gender, etc.

Answers include improvements to cost of education, health care, and housing.

But more than anything: We simply need a complete restructuring of our economy, with focus on the creation of living wage jobs for all that want to work. How to do this is an opportunity yet to be designed.

But a good start would be for the President of the United States to put US inequality high on his agenda, and mean it–with constant focus on  the progress of a new economic design. There should be quarterly reports on all forms of inequality, with specific targets set.

  • That would be a good start.

  • The US 2020 economic society is clearly unsustainable.

  • If you ever doubted that inequality is a huge problem in our country:

  • 41% of Americans would have trouble coming up with $250!

Clearly unsustainable!

 

 

Dale Walker is a retired financial services executive, living in San Francisco. He currently serves on the Boards of Beneficial State Bank, the Graduate Theological Union, Cambridge Science Corporation, and Pacific Vision Foundation. He is an active member of Patriotic Millionaires.

BTW: The previous post was written with a touch of sarcasm. I’m on the opposite side of this one–just wanted to poke a little fun at those on the far right, such as Trump and McConnell.

 

You Don’t Need No Help!

May 4, 2020

I Made it On My Own

 

Tell those rabble-rousers

Those pesky protestors

Tell them to get off their butts

 

Tell them to stop taking welfare

Stop living off my damn tax dollars

 

Tell them to go out and get a job

Plenty of jobs out there

 

Remind them this is America

Home of Horatio Alger

Land of independence

Anyone can make it

If only they try, try, try

 

Tell them how many times

Col. Sanders tried to sell his recipe

Before he got a start

1,010 times

That’s what!

 

That’s the spirit

That’s the kind of drive

That’s all about America

There’s no excuse here

For any other way

Unless you’re handicapped

In which case, we’ll just have to

Check you out

Make double sure

You’re not lying

 

God knows

There’s a lot of liars

A lot of lazy bums

Let’s deport them

To wherever they came from

Africa or Mexico

Or Islam

Wherever that is

 

You complain the minimum wage

Is only $7.25 per hour

That’s $14,000!

Get a 2nd job

Have the wife get two jobs

 

Then you’ve got it made

Save money

It adds up!

 

That’s the spirit

 

 

You say I had advantages?

I had help?

I was dependent?

 

Because I’m white?

Because I’m a WASP?

Col. Sanders was a WASP too?

Because I had good parents?

Because my uncle got me a scholarship?

Because college was cheap back then?

Because good jobs with good wages

Were plentiful

Back then?

 

Nonsense!

 

Don’t try to hide behind

Such excuses

 

That’s what I’m talking about

 

That’s the attitude of a loser

That’s what’s wrong with America

It ain’t what it used to be

 

Listen to me!

 

I’m talking to you!

P.S. I actually know people who feel this way!

An Apology

Please excuse me in taking a new direction entirely. It’s not that I consider myself a muse or a poet. Just that I have some things to say at this stage of my life and my country, albeit in my small voice and limited literary skills.

Apology

I’m here to apologize

For 1963

To the days

Of that year

Every single day

Sorry it’s taken so long

I’ve been away

Elsewhere

Distracted

Something was happening

In 1963

But I wasn’t there

I apologize to Martin Luther King

He had a dream

I didn’t really know about it

Or if I did

I wasn’t paying attention

I apologize to Bob Dylan

And Joan Baez

They told it in song

“Like a Rolling Stone”

I was into the Beach Boys

I’m here to apologize

To a whole bunch of people

Maybe nobody told me

Something was happening

Something important

Maybe they told me

But I wasn’t listening

It didn’t sink in

Not like the beer

And the parties

At the Sigma Chi House

Or the girl in my Chemistry Class

Not like the courses

The grades

That might assure me

Safety above the fray

The fray of what was happening

What was more important

What was changing America

I came here to apologize

It was all on TV

Radio

It was all in the papers

Can’t blame it on my friends

My parents

Professors

Can’t exactly

Find a good excuse

I wasn’t blind

Or Deaf

While people were protesting

Brothers were dying

In Vietnamese forests

And Negro towns

And someone was

Killing the President

I was somewhere else

Oh, you say let go of it

Don’t fret yourself

Forget about it

It’s in the past

You’re not alone

Just look out for yourself

That’s the real America

Anyway

They didn’t really

Make much of a difference

You can’t change America

You say

But I wasn’t there

What could have happened

If I had been there?

If all of us had been there

I came here to apologize

 

And there are some other years

I need to apologize for

1964, 1967, 1974

And some others too

Actually

A lot of them

Maybe all of them

5/3/20

Inequality Propounded

3/26/20

Inequality has steadily escalated since the days of Reagan and Thatcher. It’s now deeply ingrained in every aspect of our society. My focus, economic inequality, is a major factor in every other kind of inequality–social, racial, religious, gender, etc. And, no matter what the major problem of the world, the less equal always get the short end of the stick. The environment is a good example. As we continue to pollute our water, who is forced to live by the polluted lakes, streams, and rivers? The poor, of course. The rest of us can live on high ground and drink bottled water.

So, here we are again. This time it is the Coronavirus pandemic. Sure, it is affecting all of us. Even a billionaire or two might succumb to the disease, no matter his access to the very best health care. But in the total population, the losers are going to be the underprivileged, the poor, the economically unequal.

First, their living conditions are far from optimal to maintain social distancing. They can only afford less effective health care, if any at all. Many are still uninsured, a tragedy for a country of our wealth. On top of all that, they have little or no economic protection, living paycheck to paycheck, as many of them do. So, when the airlines, cruise lines, and hotels lay off thousands, when those are followed by the small businesses, restaurants, and even the laundries, cleaning services and all of that, what can they do? They can only survive a few weeks or a few months, usually even that by exhausting their retirement or emergency savings.

What then? This week, the government will approve measures which reportedly protect those people (on average) for a few months. “Few” being like maybe 3. And, “averages” means some will last a little longer, but some far less. For example, if your inner city rent is $5,000, not uncommon in our major cities, we’re talking maybe only a month or two. And if these folks had any savings, say a 401K or whatever, that’s been diminished as of today by about 30%.

Now to the debate of the day: Continue to “Shelter in Place,” or open up the system and go back to work? The Left is aghast at the idea that we might lift the Shelter regulations. The Right is paranoid about the harm to the economy, and perhaps to the stock market.

I can’t resist chiding my friends who pushed back on my concerns for inequality when I argued that our unequal have little benefit from a stock market. They argued that everyone has some sort of retirement fund, however small it may be, and it is invested in stock–therefore we ALL prosper from the stock market. Well, that’s pretty academic now. I have less, but the “unequal” have little, very little, if any, after all this is dealt with.

What’s the answer? Shelter or go back to work? The sad and brutal reality is that both alternatives involve loss of life. Yes, if we sent too many back to work too soon, there will inevitably be additional loss of life, before we get to Tony Fauci’s guesstimate of 18 months to a vaccine. That’s a regrettable reality.

However, many of these, our middle class, our blue collar workers, and our poor, will die  of lack of food, housing, health care and other necessities, if they can’t go back to work. To imagine any other scenario, one would have to make a highly improbable assumption–that government is able and effective in sufficiently compensating every one of our bottom 50%, some 62 million Americans, reported to be holding only 1% of national wealth and with only $11,000 in net worth.

Even if the average income of the bottom 50% is only $30,000, and if this half of our citizenry can somehow live off that, for government to provide for that for 62 million Americans would take a staggering 1,860,000,000,000. Check my math. That’s about $2 Trillion, and that’s just for staying alive, doesn’t cover the needs of airlines, hotels, cruise lines, small businesses, health care, etc. And that’s just for 12 months.

I’m not an economist, but it’s doubtful even the US economy could survive stimulus of that magnitude. And if it can’t, or can’t do it efficiently (a near certainty), that leaves little alternative.

At some point in the continuance of this pandemic, if it doesn’t relent, our “unequal” will have to go back to work.

We have to face the twin dangers of the pandemic. There is no easy solution.

One can only hope that this tragedy is enough to wake up our legislators to the desperate need to begin to restructure our entire economic system to enable real shared prosperity. If not, revolution could be a lot closer than we ever imagined.