After Coronavirus, The Class War Will Be Ugly
Updated: Aug 5
The divide between rich and poor is going to be wider than ever — unless we wake up
Let’s be honest. Nothing is what it seems to be anymore.
If we look closely, we can see that our collective reality has been distorted to shape the way we see the world — what we believe and don’t believe, what we accept as truth and what we reject as lies.
And now we’re seeing it happen again.
For years, the U.S. government and media used smoke, mirrors, and fuzzy data to convince us the economy had recovered from the Great Recession. By some accounts, the economy was even “booming.” This distortion of our reality worked like a charm — until the Coronavirus outbreak.
That’s when the smoke cleared. That’s when we learned that most people can’t survive a lockdown for more than a few days because they’re just a paycheck away from financial disaster.
That’s when we realized we had been seeing the illusion of a healthy economy.
Stripped of this illusion, the Trump administration has made a desperate attempt to “save” drowning Americans by throwing them a widely hyped $2.2 trillion lifeline in the form of “stimulus” checks. Just to be clear, $2.2 trillion is a WHOLE lot of money. It’s actually more money than the government has ever spent to help people in sudden need. So this is the kind of news that “should” makes us feel good, right? It’s proof that the people we elect are doing whatever they can to “save” us in desperate times.
Yet once again…things aren’t as they appear.
Because the government isn’t just “saving” battered households. Someone else is getting a lifeline, and it dwarfs the measly $2.2 trillion coming our way. As unemployment screams to 30% and households sit on the precipice of ruin, banks will get loans for an unlimited amount of money.
That’s not a typo. Because of the Coronavirus crisis, banks will now receive as much money as they want. The sky’s the limit. Tens of trillions. Hundreds of trillions. To the moon! And the best part? Banks won’t be charged any interest. In other words, banks are getting free money.
So why are banks receiving stratospheric sums of free money when average Americans are getting a check that barely covers rent in a medium-sized city? This is the question we should all be asking ourselves, but we’re not. Because when it comes to money…we simply tune out.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, we’ve become de-sensitized to the mind-boggling amounts of money needed to keep the System running. Banks get insane handouts, we carry on with our lives, and the world keeps spinning. We’ve looked the other way because we don’t understand what’s going on. We don’t pay attention because we don’t think it affects us.
But it does.
While we’re passing our quarantine time with binge TV and plotting strategic visits to grocery stores, a staggering amount of wealth is about to be transferred to people at the top of the class ladder. And by the time we can roam streets again and greet our friends without social distancing, the divide between the very rich and everyone else will be an unbridgeable chasm.
Banks get insane handouts, we carry on with our lives, and the world keeps spinning. We don’t pay attention because we don’t think it affects us.
I know what you’re probably thinking because I used to think the same thing: “So banks are getting as much money as they want. But how does that affect me?”
It affects you because there’s a dirty little secret we’re not told about about these high-level handouts: whenever banks get their hands on a LOT of money to keep the System running, it only deepens the class divide. Because the money banks receive stays at the top.
But we don’t know this because it’s not the story we’re told. Instead, we’re fed a different reality.
Have you noticed that whenever there’s a crisis one of the first things we hear is how important it is to “save” banks? Because they’re too big too fail. Because if they go down, we all go down. We’re told that if we save banks, we save ourselves. If they receive lots of money, they’ll lend it to the rest of us to re-start the economy— so we can buy homes, buy cars and open businesses. So life can keep running and the System can keep humming.
But once again, things aren’t what they appear to be.
It’s true that when banks receive handouts they loan some of that money to working class and middle class people. But that’s not where most of it goes. They loan most of that money to people who already have LOTS of money.
Right now, the financial system is being flooded with “unprecedented amounts of money,” but most of it “won’t end up directly in the pockets of individuals.” Instead, the tens of trillions of dollars that banks are getting during this crisis will be loaned to those at the top of the class ladder. It won’t go to the people who need at most, the ones who’ve been hit hardest by this crisis.
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is what those at the top will do with this money —and how it will affect those of us on the lower rungs.
Whenever banks get their hands on a LOT of money to keep the System running, it only deepens the class divide
As the old saying goes, cash is king whenever there’s a crisis. It’s also a lesson many Americans are learning first-hand as they scramble to fill gaping holes in our budgets. Some have even resorted to bartering to get the things they desperately need, like toilet paper, eggs, and rice.
With the U.S. expected to remain in lockdown for months, it won’t be long before people who are surviving on the margins will be forced to throw in the towel. But for those at the top with access to trillions of dollars of cheap loans from banks, this crisis presents the opportunity of a lifetime.
As distressed businesses go belly-up, their owners and employees will likely lose their homes in foreclosure. As more people become casualties of this lockdown, they’ll surrender whatever they have to make ends meet — cars, equipment, family heirlooms, and other assets. They’ll have to sell whatever they can to come up with cash they need to survive. And the longer the lockdown continues, the more assets people will be forced to surrender.
That’s when wealthy investors, hovering like vultures, will swoop in. In fact, many are already making plans to buy whatever financially-strapped Americans lose. Think about that for a moment. Elites with access to unimaginable sums of money are getting ready to acquire the wealth we lose during this crisis. While we sit huddled in our homes, frightened for our lives, the rich are salivating. Waiting for us to fall through the cracks.
You know what this means, don’t you?
When this lockdown is over and our lives return to “normal,” the slow motion pauperization of America will kick into overdrive. Thousands of homes and businesses once owned by families will fall into the hands of conglomerates and investment companies, more wealth will be consolidated into the hands of a very few, and the socio-economic landscape will make an unprecedented shift — in the wrong direction.
If you think things were tough before Coronavirus, wait until you see post-pandemic America.
I know we’re all overwhelmed by what’s staring us in the face now. Jobs that have disappeared, paychecks that have stopped coming, bills that are still arriving in the mail. I get it. I know it’s hard to think about anything that may not affect us today or tomorrow. This is how we’ve all been forced to live for too long: running so hard and fast that we never have a chance to stop and look at the bigger picture. This is how those at the top of the income pyramid have quietly acquired most of the country’s wealth, without our awareness.
But here’s the problem: if we don’t pay attention to the bigger consequences of this global disaster now, we’ll pay a much higher price later. Jobs that may never come back. Paychecks that may disappear for good. Bills that will be much bigger. Homes we may lose forever.
And at the rate things are going, this could happen a lot sooner than we think.
This is our future, unless we decide to change it. It’s not too late for us to take action. It begins by having the courage to educate ourselves about our economy and understand how those at the top manipulate it to take wealth from the rest of us. It begins by speaking up and refusing to look the other way when banks receive unimaginable amounts of money to “keep the System going.” It begins when we decide to speak up.
It begins by waking up and creating awareness.
Talking to other people about these issues. Making our voices heard on social media. Unplugging from political drama and partisan squabbling. Refusing to get caught up in the petty stuff that divides us and focusing on the stuff that affect ALL of us.
If we can make time to binge The Tiger King, we can make time to learn about the money that affects all of us. If we can find time to flood our Instagram feeds with rants about Trump and Biden, we can find time to learn why our economy is pushing most of us into poverty.
When #endbankhandouts is trending hard on Twitter, we’ll know we’re making progress. When people are as outraged about giving free money to elites as they are about Russian “meddling,” we’ll know they’re waking up. Until then, we need to keep spreading the word.
We can do this. We have to do this. Because our future — and that of generations who follow us — depend on what we decide to do now.