This is key. Capitalist pressures function in much the same way that authoritarian practices do: they steal the power to generate and maintain forward momentum, to progress. And they destroy the healthy human relations between us, poisoning the social soil that grows healthy democracies

What MM (under the thumb of the 45th) has done--to me and to millions--is rip a huge hole right in the middle of the UI safety net, then made it threadbare. A $600 (!) "stimulus" check, no retroactive payments to fix the gaping hole of six months, and half of what just barely sustained many of us before--that is not help: it's straight up suffering, as you point out.

This is punishment, plain and simple. The 45th is BSing when he calls for more in checks: he wants nothing to go to “those” people — the working class and poor. The ppl who didn’t vote for him. I dealt with conservative white boomers for 4 years while I studied their cultural norms, and this is how they do: they smile and fake the commitment to change, just tangling everyone up in BS time sucks. And dems fall for that — every time — because they believe in communication, in discourse. Problem is, the other side DOES NOT: they use it as a weapon against those who are trying to negotiate in good faith.

Everything around the dems tells them not to rock the boat, too — don’t poke the bear, right? The 45th achieved his intimidation objectives: no one will question him or those he’s using. That’s a very hard relational environment to slog through, especially when the POTUS — who’s never done his job — is now sitting in back rooms trying to recruit conspiracy theorists to be his attorney to overthrow the election, or use effing martial law to take the democracy by force. That negotiations are continuing in those circumstances is extraordinary. And flat out terrifying: that there is nothing the people can do while the POTUS gets revenge on everyone with the power he still has.

Calfresh has also cut benefits (based on receiving even the minimum 167 per week in UI), and those payments are now very late. It's a few days before Christmas, and millions are waiting for food money to appear on an EBT card so they can buy groceries, trying not to spend the little cash they've saved to pay the rent (or the Airbnb bill).

It is not unjust: it is criminal. There is simply no justification--except punishment--to withhold money for food, housing, and basic bills from the millions hardest hit by a mishandled pandemic and the catastrophic economy it has wrought. This is the very definition of authoritarianism: power-stealing and hoarding from those who can afford it least.

Can't participate in a democracy if you are struggling and all your energies are going into avoiding homelessness and buying food to eat. That's awfully fucking convenient, isn't it.

Thanks for the post!

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