Journalist explains how the pandemic has exposed the cruel 'heart’s desire of the corporate right'

Journalist explains how the pandemic has exposed the cruel 'heart’s desire of the corporate right'
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Parachute riggers with 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Group Support Battalion, sew surgical masks for medical patients at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., March 31, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Joe Parrish) (Sgt. Joe Parrish)

During the coronavirus pandemic — which, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has killed more than 58,900 people in the United States — workers who have been able to work from home while still bringing home a regular paycheck are the lucky ones. Others have had no choice but to continue commuting to brick-and-mortar businesses. And journalist Jon Schwarz, in an article for The Intercept, asserts that corporate CEOs in the U.S. are giving their workers two choices: starve or risk being infected with the coronavirus.

Schwarz explains, “The GOP and its core constituents — conservative corporations — now face two dangers, one in the short term and one in the longer term…. The short-term danger is that Americans will resist the push from business to get us back on the job and making money for them. Their plan is simple: Starve us out. They know we can’t survive indefinitely without a continuing government bailout focused on regular people’s needs. So, they’re going to stop that bailout from happening.”

Schwarz continues, “The longer-term danger they face is that we’ll make the government work for us in the short term — and then, we will realize we could make it work for us all the time by removing the threat of starvation from their arsenal. This would totally change the balance of power in society.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Schwarz notes, has shown his hostility when it comes to things like “hazard pay for doctors and nurses” and “help for people paying rent” — while states with Republican governors have been “easing restrictions on business.”

The decent thing to do for workers during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Schwarz, would be “putting much of the economy in hibernation until we have the capacity to immediately find anyone with COVID-19 and provide them with a safe place to stay in quarantine, while doing our best to keep everyone who has to work safe.” But the “heart’s desire of the corporate right,” Schwarz warns, is to “shove everyone back to work as soon as possible.”

Schwarz laments, “The suffering will be absolutely real because the right will make sure it is…. The choice being given to regular Americans will be to work or die.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.