But, as my partner assures me, this has happened many times before.
It seemed an afterthought, this 1.5 trillion bailout to Wall Street. Whereas before, Mammon expected us to bow before his majesty because he simply demanded it like the droit du seigneur, he might reckon that the generation who got fucked in 2008 won’t just take that for a reason. Not this time. This time, something more drastic was needed to leverage.
Today, a sagging profit trajectory has found its perfect mate in a virus. The markets were sagging, a fetid boil that needed to be lanced. All its priests tip-toed around, praying to Mammon that if they were quiet enough, the boil might just continue to grow indefinitely. You could hear the collective groan of a million capitalists as the virus came around and did what no one else was willing to do. It was brave enough, and powerful enough, to say that the emperor really was buck-ass naked.
Cut interest rates? – Won’t get factories back online in China.
Payroll tax? – Won’t pay unemployment insurance for billions – and to buy what, anyway?
An bailout initial bailout twice the size of 2008? – Well this, at least, will solidify the hold the ruling class has on its gentrifying estate.
And yet, watch capitalism keep slumping, demanding yet more blood to justify its continued existence.
If the virus really is some slap from God, then the way that those in power in the US have reacted is simply to use it as an opportunity to shore up power. The death of social democracy is now A-12 news.
I prefer to read the funny pages: so many of the oldheads slated to die first are voting against universal healthcare. All the unions so weak so as to not be able to grieve if it’s not safe to go to work. The gig economy, responsible for much of the economic growth in the last 5 years, now knee-capped, infected, sick and forced to work anyway. All the movements suddenly sidelined by quarantine, a sense of social responsibility, while the foxes have their way with the chicken coop.
But don’t panic. That’s the market’s job. Just sit back, relax, strap in, and make sure to keep tuning in for the latest incompetence, closures and freak-outs. While ICE is dragging the sick from their hospital beds, take solace that at least Cuba will survive. The contradictions are heightening. Hope to see you on the other end, once we figure all this out.