SARS CoV2 aka COVID-19: Public Employees Keep Getting Paid, While Private Sector Suffers Irreparable Harm
This lockdown situation has established two classes of citizens: a privileged public employee class who continue to be paid their regular salaries (often while doing little or no work!!!), and second class citizens who are forbidden to work.
The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of these policies is self evident: not only do public sector employees continue to be paid, their undiminished salaries and benefits are paid for by the private sector—insult to gross injury.
There ought to be riots in the streets over this de-facto policy of “separate and unequal” classes of citizens. It is a grotesque violation of human rights. It is of the same vicious moral order as institutionalized racism laws, which this country finally rejected half a century ago—entire classes of people with the government boot on their necks.
Where is the SHARED SACRIFICE?
While it is the right of private companies to take losses and continue to pay their workers during the lockdown as they so choose, the idea that government employees should continue to be paid while denying the right to earn a living to others by government force (backed by guns) is a morally criminal act. Note that I am not faulting ordinary government employees, only the policies that de facto create two classes of citizens.
But it is much worse: the government has by its actions invoked the economic death penalty for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of small businesses all over the country. It has depleted the meager life savings of millions and thrown them into financial misery and given them uncertain and stressful futures.
Do you see politicians renouncing their salaries or discussing this vicious policy? Do you see politicians offering to donate even half their salary to those denied the right to earn one by the force of a gun? When pigs fly!
The government has no business creating privileged classes of citizens, and then failing to pay reparations to the second-class citizens.
There are possible ways to mitigate this situation that would fulfill the “shared sacrifice” that The Left is so fond of touting, but that in this case it would for once carry moral weight.
- Retroactively to the start of the lockdowns, cut the salaries and pensions of all government employees in half, taking that money to replace the lost income of those thrown out of work for as long as it takes to right the wrong that has been done. I would exclude certain areas like the military, but not much else.
- Alternately, adding a very large tax surcharge on government employees for as long as it takes to compensate the private sector workers who suffered financial damage.
- Compensate small business owners whose life work has been destroyed. This is a case of eminent domain. The taking of private property MUST be compensated for.
- Or, simply... a total state and federal tax holiday (refundable tax credit) for the loss of income suffered by private sector employees, for as long as it takes to set things right.
Without something being done to make this a SHARED sacrifice, it creates a schism that will never heal and a precedent that the government can target millions of people for financial carpet-bombing while protecting privileged groups.