Our hardest workers at risk

“Facts don’t care about your feelings” is the tagline of a young conservative hero who always sounds like his feelings were hurt. Mr. Feelings (a.k.a. Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro) recently whined about Amazon workers striking over low pay and unsafe work conditions amid this pandemic. He even suggested that given the power he’d fire them all and replace them with people willing to work. He’s one of those gems of the mindless right that views the working class as disposable, until suddenly realizing how essential they are. Comfortably at home awaiting delivery of his online purchases, he might not get what it takes to keep him in the style he’s become accustomed to.

Closer to home we don’t have millions of people needing deliveries, but my house gets a few. I have those Amazon workers to thank, and I want them taken care of. I also know that in health care facilities around us, some of the most underpaid and overworked people provide critical care, and now do so with added risk to them and their loved ones. In addition, some fine local restaurants have provided take-out service that has made isolation feel a little less isolated.

This brings to mind consideration regarding how we reward and retain these dedicated workers, and how to unite to help small businesses around us survive. In our current system, it has become common for those in power to ignore the vulnerability of those much less powerful. But imagine instead a capitalist system actually based on merit, not speculative value or policies corrupted by that speculation. A system where whiners like Ben Shapiro aren’t so well compensated simply because they whine so well. Where one with considerable wealth might be burdened by riding an elevator to executive suites knowing someone on that same elevator is almost as wealthy- but also knowing that the contractor maintaining the two elevators he has in his mansion can afford braces for his kid, or roof repairs, or can go to urgent care if he has a fever.

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