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No shirt, No shoes, No service!

3 min read

For years, I have been looking for the perfect rebut to the idea that the private sector is always better than the government, and Donald Trump may have given me the answer. I walked to the nearest corner store in my neighborhood, and posted on the front door is a large sign that reads, No mask, No service.  I walked in, flipped a package of gum on the counter, and tacked to the wall behind the cashier’s head was another sign that read, No shirt, No shoes, No service!

Left to its own devices, the private sector makes its own rules, sets its own prices, pollutes as it wishes, and denies whomever it chooses to exclude. The fly in their corporate ointment is government or better put, safety, health and rules against discrimination.  The assault by the lame-duck President on American democracy has shown us all that The Constitution’s guarantees are based on the honor of the men who swear allegiance to it. Donald Trump has made it clear his electoral defeat and the inability to swallow his pride, thereby raising the speculation of sedition is neither honorable nor Constitutional. Adherence to the government rules currently would be the remedy, not the private sector thinking—of a desperate man, fighting for his corporate afterlife.

The connection between these two short narratives is that Mr. Trump has not only sought to treat the people’s government as a private entity but also as his private ATM. That should not be a surprise coming from a man whose whole life has been centered around the accumulation, and the pretense of riches. The federal government is mandated to serve all its legal citizenry. The amorality, of denying food to the poor, through government subsidies like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance  Programs (SNAP), is not subject to a sign that reads, no shirt, no service. If you show up barefoot and wounded at the door of a hospital, a sign reading, no shoes, no service will not greet you. I am not saying that the private sector does not provide great services, and I say that while munching on a Greek Salad delivered from one of the restaurant-to-door services, I frequent. Covid-19 has shown the necessity for a strong private sector to supplement the government, not the other-way-round as Republicans would have you believe.

President-elect Joe Biden wants to, enlist, involve, and have the government lead in the pandemic fight that is projected to kill, by March, more people than WWII. Mr. Trump has tried pushing unproven cures for the sake of corporate interest and downplayed the deaths of a quarter-million people because it would hurt the stock market. Talking about Covid, Covid, Covid would hurt the “best” economy of all time he boasted. Therein lies the problem with having a government replaced by the private sector, life would mean less than money. Had we listened to the harangue of those who think private enterprise is a panacea, George W. Bush’s attempts to privatize Social Security payments through the stock market would have achieved his goal of dismantling the system; Grandma and Grandpa would not be around to die of Covid-19, they would have died of hunger.

Georgians, Vote for Change.


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