MICHAEL K. SMITH—The grossly exploitative nature of gig employment is nowhere more apparent than in the current crisis of Uber drivers during the corona virus pandemic. The unofficial “plan” is to let these drivers work right up to the moment they get sick, then hope they don’t die as they shelter in place at home awaiting a compensation check based on their collapsed earnings. In short, a token tiny payment inside a get-well card.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Hollywood is a giant propaganda mill which when it isn’t cranking out movies which are literally funded and controlled by the US war machine is putting on spectacular ninety-minute “The imperialist world order is perfectly sane and capitalism is totally working” infomercial presentations. It is an arm of cultural control which is unrivaled by anything else in this world, so of course it has powerful forces at work within it ensuring status quo loyalism.
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DANNY HAIPHONG—calling the U.S. the failed state delegitimizes the imperial narrative that prevents the people from learning key lessons from countries constantly disparaged as “authoritarian,” “dictatorships,” and the like. COVID-19 proves that the United States’ war on the world is a drag on humanity. China’s ability to curtail the rapid spread of the virus over the course of two months showed the world what a functioning centralized state can do in service of the people.
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ZACH CARTER—Working people, by contrast, do not have time to wait. The coronavirus layoffs have already begun, and when official numbers begin rolling in on Thursday, they will be shocking. Democrats and Republicans have essentially decided to hold a pittance of relief for the people hit hardest hostage to the most reckless and, at the moment, unnecessary corporate welfare program ever conceived.
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