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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 March 2020

United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets

Wall Street gets giveaways while workers get sick, photo by Wagner T Cassimiro/CC

Wall Street gets giveaways while workers get sick, photo by Wagner T Cassimiro/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Jacob Bilsky, Independent Socialist Group, United States

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the inadequacies of capitalism internationally, and the problems with private healthcare in the United States in particular.

After months of the corporate media blaming 'socialism' for food and consumer goods shortages in countries like Venezuela, workers in the US are faced with barren store shelves due to panic buying. We are forced to wait hours on end to contact private hospitals - only to find that we aren't eligible to receive Covid-19 testing or our insurance won't cover it.

This lack of available testing and delayed federal response have allowed the virus to fester in the country's major city centres. There are nearly 3,000 confirmed cases in 49 states, and likely many more untested affected individuals.

Meanwhile, the housing crisis, scarcity of paid sick leave, and lack of full-time employment at a living wage, force millions to go into work sick or risk missing rent and being evicted from their homes.

President Donald Trump finally declared a national state of emergency on 14 March. But a federal aid package of $50 billion still awaits Senate approval, and will likely take even more time to be distributed to state governments.

While Congress and the Trump administration ignored the plight of working people, it only took hours for the Federal Reserve to inject the debt markets with $1.5 trillion in the hope of saving the profits of capitalist speculators. This sum - capable of paying off the entire nation's student loan debt - resulted in a mere 20 minutes of market growth, followed by further decline!

Capitalism and the political duopoly of the Democratic and Republican parties are to blame for the US's incompetent response to Covid-19. Both corporate parties have routinely cut funding for social services and blocked efforts at universal healthcare. The Trump administration even sacked officials tasked with preventing pandemics.

As the pandemic runs its course, unions, workers and young people may have to fight for the necesary resources to manage it. And, we should prepare to enter a new period of struggle, including building a mass workers' party and fighting for socialist policies, to ensure access to healthcare and other necessities for all.

The Independent Socialist Group (the United States co-thinkers of the Socialist Party) calls for:

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 18 March 2020:


Workplace news and analysis

Stop Press: postal workers deliver massive strike vote and offer to become additional 'emergency service'

East London bin workers strike to get back unpaid holiday pay

Determined St Mungo's homelessness workers strike for three days


International socialist news and analysis

French local elections: CWI candidate elected

New pamphlet: constituent assemblies and the revolutionary programme


Socialist history

South Africa: 60 years marking the Sharpeville Massacre


Coronavirus

Coronavirus: workers must not pay the price!

Capitalist crisis and corona: Johnson's budget for the bosses

Coronavirus - a workers charter 2020

Coronavirus: socialist planning, not capitalist chaos!

Coronavirus housing emergency - suspend rent and mortgage payments, seize empty homes

PCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

Councils must break austerity rules

Action needed to protect shop workers and access to essential goods

Coronavirus hospital worker: amazing response from staff - but worst still to come

'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets

Workers at Lewisham coronavirus hospital walk out after not being paid

Coronavirus - waste processing employers putting us at risk

Bexley bin workers strike over lack of hand sanitiser

Going viral: socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

Under the microscope: socialist coronavirus news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Help us fund the Socialist

Stop gentrification of Lea Bridge

Tory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

Nottingham uni occupation ends

Socialist Students speaking tour

Selling the Socialist


Readers' opinion

TV: Noughts and Crosses


 

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