The powerful have decided that we can all have human rights, and a little socialism on the side, as a treat, right when it seems as though the apocalypse will hit.
The corporations that had long resisted providing their employees with humane working conditions, as well as necessary benefits, have suddenly reconsidered and decided that perhaps people should, maybe, be treated with respect.
Of course, not everything can be perfect, and we cannot expect much, but paid sick leave and some compensation (you know, the bare minimum) is now feasible. Thank you, corporations!
Governments have hopped on the bandwagon too!
In the United States, the Trump administration, who had always been so eager to ruin the lives of the working class and was last heard slashing pay raises for federal workers while fighting family leave, is now looking into adopting universal (yes, universal) sick pay.
Some Americans are even considering universal health care.
Canadian workers who do not qualify for paid sick leave will be provided with financial support at last, but do not fret, capitalists, it’ll be 900$ bi-weekly; therefore, it will not quite meet the minimum wage.
I guess the $10 billion for businesses was more important than Canada’s most vulnerable. Everyone being a socialist during times of crisis would almost be funny, if it didn’t make us realize how cruel our current economic system is to what has been revealed as the foundation of our society: people.
It makes you realize how working-class people are the key element to the strength, as well as the bare functioning of, our countries, but they are the most mistreated, overlooked, and undervalued folks all around.
We are taught that the billionaires (who are in hiding right now, when they could be contributing to fixing the economic problems that we, as a nation, will undoubtedly face because we allowed a system that benefits them to exist, but that’s another issue) are the people to aspire to. However, it is the hard workers who will save us all and make the world go around.
We are force-fed the myth of trickle-down economics, of meritocracy. In these times of crisis, we realize that we have been lied to.
Nurses make the world go around. The clerk of the grocery store down the street makes the world go around. The warehouse worker makes the world go around.
It is unfortunate that imminent death for many because we lack basic services (such as hospital beds, of which Canada as a lower number than Italy) is our teaching moment. That is, if it’ll teach us anything at all. I hope this will teach us that profit isn’t more important than our lives.
I have to admit that I am not optimistic. However, if a global pandemic, which will most likely have disastrous consequences, won’t make us mend our ways, what will?
By Natalia Ibanez