Bill Maher said on this on his television show,
“the next person who tells me we’re all in this together must work a shift at Grub Hub. Half the country is home in their comfy clothes ordering take-out and the other half is out in the cold delivering it. So stop it with the ‘in it together bull shit.’ We’re in this together is another ‘Thank you for your service.’ Just something we can say to people doing the dirty work so we can feel better about not doing it ourselves. And even before the pandemic hit, America was well into the ‘gig-economy’ which sounds sort of hip like you’re in a rock band except you’re not in a rock band, you’re delivering hot chicken. And it doesn’t cover your rent.”
He is right about one thing. This platitude is getting tired. It would be nice if people actually believed it. But not many do. Our actions speak loudly. All kinds of people have done very well in this pandemic. Most of them are well-to-do. Lawyers have done very well. It’s hard to figure out why that is the case, but it’s true. I heard from my furniture guy that they have never done better. Why are people spending money of furniture? Jeff Bezos has seen his personal net worth climb astronomically during the pandemic. He recently announced his retirement as CEO of Amazon. If he wanted to, he could give each of his 1 million employees a retiring bonus of $105,000 and still have more wealth than he had before the pandemic!
Some corporations for awhile gave their employees a bonus of 50 cents an hour to compensate them for risking their lives so the business could remain afloat. Then they revoked that as soon as they could.
No, we are not really all in this together. As usual, the rich are benefiting from the disaster while the common people suck socks. Isn’t that the way it always works?
Does it have to work that way? Is there even a good reason that it works that way? What does it say about us that it does work that way? Is there a better way?
2 thoughts on “Are we all in this together or is it time time for a platitude adjustment?”
You rock, Neufeld. Jan and I have got platitudinitus. That’s when you choke on a platitude and feel sick but don’t know what else there is. I started giving gas jockeys and grocery clerks a twoonie. I know: not exactly an annuity fund, finance-wise but it does go against the wale of my Mennonite corduroy and it beats the shit out of me saying, “Thanks for coming to work today,” and buzzing off.
I think if we all starting handing out twoonies, well… truth be told not a damn thing would change but at least there’d be some gas jockeys and grocery clerks with a couple of extra bucks to tip the pizza guy! (Hey! Maybe trickle-down does work?)
Chris has taught me to give a tw
twoonie to gas jockeys when it is cold. Maybe we should be more generous than that. But in this pandemic I have tried in my way to be more generous. With very modest success.