Now that the Senate has passed the American Rescue Plan, I’m surprised, relieved, and as usual, annoyed. Surprised it passed because one particular party (AHEM) has a habit of stonewalling help for the American people. Relieved that the “other” party can actually see beyond the tips of their own noses. And annoyed…that it was such a close vote!
Now that the $15 minimum wage portion has been pulled from the bill because it didn’t meet the “criteria of a reconciliation bill” , I just have to roll my eyes so far back I can see what’s behind me. Raising minimum wage, of course, has long been a sore spot with Republicans and they have fought it tooth and nail every. single. time. Democrats also had to renegotiate the $400 weekly extended unemployment. Down to $300 weekly, but for a longer term. A win-ish.
On the Ground
In light of this tiny little pandemic and the economic 8.0 level earthquake that resulted, I am fully flummoxed at their reasoning. So many on the right are screaming to open the country back up, yet many of us, myself included, have been un- or underemployed for around a year now. Having lost my small business, I am in the lot with the gig-workers and freelancers for unemployment benefits, thankfully. BUT…we, as a group, are at the whim of Congress passing, or not, extended assistance.
It’s a lesson in perseverance. And budgeting. And cooking. For many, we can’t just “go back to work” as some seem to think. My business is gone. Rebuilding is not an option. Some are also at higher risk for contracting Covid. But, you know, we still need to eat.
As the wealthy lawmakers count out how many alms to throw at the vast majority of plebs, it strikes me, yet again, how these people are legislating for situations that they have most likely never experienced…ever. Extended unemployment, no savings, no retirement, no health insurance, higher than ever housing costs.
And they are quibbling over Dr. Suess. Truly infuriating.
What Exactly IS Their Position?
If you Google definitions of our political parties, this is what you will find:
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic with an emphasis on liberty and the civic virtue practiced by citizens. … More broadly, it refers to a political system that protects liberty, especially by incorporating a rule of law that cannot be arbitrarily ignored by the government.
Let’s look at that “civic virtue” part…
“…civic virtue is often conceived as the dedication of citizens to the common welfare of their community even at the cost of their individual interests…”
I don’t know about you, but I read that as “the greater good”. Today’s Republicans? Are you laughing yet? Am I the only one that sees these definitions and looks at today’s GOP and cannot reasonably draw any line between the two? Let’s not open that can of worms right now and move on.
A democracy means rule by the people. The name is used for different forms of government, where the people can take part in the decisions that affect the way their community is run. … The people elect their leaders. These leaders take this decision about laws. This is commonly called representative democracy.
In the interest of fairness, I will also include the Democratic principal beliefs:
“The modern Democratic Party emphasizes social equality and equal opportunity. Democrats support voting rights and minority rights…”
You’re nodding…I can tell. Dems tend to stick to their credo. Of course, there are all kinds of blending in each party: moderate, far right/left, conservative/liberal. I choose not to split hairs here…that’s a black hole I do not want to explore for my own sanity. And yours.
To Represent or Not…that is the question
On the surface, both parties seem to agree on at least one thing: opening the country back up. Us lowly common folk do too, but we all seem to differ on the how of it. We need money to buy groceries and pay bills. Though we are all weary of the pandemic, it is still very tangible and it’s just unrealistic to expect us to bootstrap it. Without assigning blame regarding the pandemic (even though I want to), we can’t change it. We have to move on.
Among pollsters this bill has resounding public support, yet our elected officials continue their posturing about what they believe is “best”. Republicans always take on the role of austerity when they lose their majority in Washington. My only guess is to prove how financially responsible they are.
Here’s the thing that they don’t seem to understand about not-wealthy people: they’re the ones spending the money. Give it to them and it will be spent in a nano-second. Not only will they, by and large, catch up their bills, repairs, wardrobes, and electronics, they will probably be back where they started in short order. So really…one could call this a “loan”.
If lawmakers want to rev up the economy, either shore up unemployment and/or “welfare” and wait for the numbers to start coming up slowly, OR raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour and watch as (I believe) the economy goes nuts. Personally, I think they need to do both to get the results they seem to be expecting by throwing the doors wide open.
I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say the Republicans in Congress are all about control. They want the money kept close abreast and the general public in a place of need and want. Why? Because then we will be forced to keep working for their shoddy wages…lining their pockets with more.
Where’s the Saturation Point?
Seriously, what can you do with a billion dollars, that you can’t do with say…100 million? Or even 50 million? The definition of “wealthy” is surprisingly lower than what many would guess.
“…According to respondents of a 2019 Modern Wealth Survey from Charles Schwab, once you have $2.3 million in personal net worth, you can call yourself wealthy.”
I would wager a guess that at that point, also, you could probably get any loan or property that suits your fancy. But the saddest thing of all? That so many people in our country are, at the very least, hungry and all our trusted lawmakers choose to do is …throw them a few crumbs.