社会黑暗与光明

The Land of The (Care)Free

There’s something I just don’t get about American people in this crisis, from top of the government down to ordinary Joes–a general disregard for risks. Not much for those around them, not even for themselves.

I puzzle over news articles like this, where a huge number of those interviewed, when faced with a 1% chance of death (more like 10% when their medical system inevitably clogs over), goes:

“If I get corona, I get corona,” a reveler in Florida said in a widely- shared television interview. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”

Deniers and Disbelievers: “If I get Corona, I Get Corona.” — NYT

How anyone could treat their lives with so little regard baffles me. Especially, isn’t America the place where people wring their hands endlessly over all kinds of human rights? You mean you care enough to live impeccably, but don’t care enough to stay alive?

Mind-boggling.

The ironic thing is, when shit does hit the fan, the U.S. is the only developed country with little to no social safety net. The real crisis has not even unfolded yet, and here we are, already seeing a cascade of job losses, which of course goes hand in hand with the dissipation of their insurance coverage. Combined with the fact that 78% of Americans live paycheque to paycheque, I don’t know what kind of conclusion can be drawn other than that of a total disaster.

The only possible silver lining out of this: when all is over, not only the well-educated, but the majority of Americans will realize that they’re living in a rotten system that needs to be turned upside down. And then something can be done about it despite the almighty invisible hand of the market.

Somehow I have little hope of it.

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