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Coronavirus relief bills passed in Congress largely benefit large corporations and others who don’t need help.

2020-05-03

photo by Squirrel photos courtesy of pixabay.com

This statement is so obvious (yet so little remarked in the US media) that I will leave it to the Guardian to spell out the details:

Fracking billionaire and Trump donor Harold Hamm was among an elite group of oil and gas executives who met with the president in early April to press for federal help, including access to big loans for businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. It prompted Trump afterwards to promise to “make funds available to these very important companies”.

Major Trump ally Tommy Fisher, who last year landed a $400m Army Corps of Engineers contract to build 31 miles of Trump’s border wall in Arizona, in April received another $7m from the army – despite an active investigation by a Pentagon watchdog into allegations of favoritism after Trump reportedly pushed for Fisher.

Another big Trump donor, Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow and the chair of Trump’s campaign in Minnesota, got red-carpet treatment from Trump at a press briefing in late March. Lindell then praised Trump, hailing him as “chosen by God” as the president touted the firm’s efforts to make thousands of face masks.

The president’s kid-glove treatment of the three Trump backers, who have donated well over $1m to help Trump and other Republican candidates try to win this fall, underscore how even during an unprecedented national crisis Trump’s priorities and campaign machine often tilt towards giving donors and political allies favors, access and publicity.

These very same companies are either sitting on wads of cash ($2 trillions in cash not repatriated to the US) or have made enormous stock buybacks to raise their stock prices and their bonuses (so much that numbers are not available).  They don’t need more money.  They need to spend the money that they have to support their customers, so that the customers can start buying their products again.

Take the Walton family again (see next post): the company “Walton Enterprises” was the most profitable in the world by 1988, according to Wikipedia.  Yet they ruthlessly socialize their expenses and privatize their profits by forcing their low-level employees to get “health insurance” through Medicaid and to get food aid from food stamps (SNAP).  This is the way of kleptocracy: to steal from the poor and subsidize the rich.

I am fatigued from crying in the wilderness.  I think I will go and cry into my beer.

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