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Corporations & the Pandemic Killing Fields; Taking a Cleaver to the Pentagon Budget

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Big companies don’t give a second thought to making big profits during the COVID-19 pandemic even if that means thousands of workers—and their families—will get sick and die from the virus. Actually, it’s a feature not a bug, no pun intended—in food processing, all those workers who make sure you get beef or chicken on your plate, are getting sick by the droves, and the only way that happens is because companies, big rich companies, keep dangerous plants operating unsafely because to make things slightly safer would cost them a few bucks. That’s criminal in a normal world. Debbie Berkowitz, director of the worker health and safety program at the National Employment Law Project, joins me to look at the threat to workers—a threat that is growing as the pandemic surges.

A few days ago, Bernie Sanders introduced a bill to cut the bloated Pentagon bi-partisan budget by a very, very modest 10 percent, with the money saved slotted to underwrite human and social programs in cities and communities where the poverty rate is 25 percent or higher. Ashik Siddique, research analyst at the National Priorities Project, talks with me about where the Pentagon could be cut—and how the slashing could go far, far deeper.

This blog originally appeared at Working Life on July 1, 2020. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Jonathan Tasini is a political / organizing / economic strategist. President of the Economic Future Group, a consultancy that has worked in a couple of dozen countries on five continents over the past 20 years.


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