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Member since: Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:31 PM
Number of posts: 7,582

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Instacart Workers Set to Strike on Monday, Demanding Hazard Pay and Protections

Sam Harnett
Mar 27

People are scared to go to grocery stores right now and risk exposure to coronavirus, so they’re hiring others to do it for them. It’s been a boon for delivery services like Instacart, which is planning to hire 300,000 more shoppers.

These shoppers will join other front-line pandemic workers — at grocery stores, in delivery trucks and behind pharmacy counters — who are risking exposure to coronavirus in order to make sure essential businesses and services stay up and running.

But because Instacart continues to classify their workers as contractors, they do not have the same kind of protections and benefits as employees. Instacart workers aren’t guaranteed minimum wage, have no paid time off and their employer does not pay into unemployment insurance.

To protest working conditions and a lack of protection on the job, Instacart shoppers are planning to go on strike across the country on Monday.


Parasites are here: Lee Fang @lhfang: Lobbyists for the debt collection industry tell Congress


Millions of Americans are about to lose their health insurance in a pandemic ( Wendell Potter )

Fri 27 Mar 2020 06.26 EDT Last modified on Fri 27 Mar 2020

The tragic effects of our battle with the novel coronavirus are seemingly endless. But arguably the most mind-blowing is this: the very pandemic that threatens to infect and kill millions is simultaneously causing many to also lose their health coverage at their gravest time of need.

Here’s how: the virus has caused a public health crisis so severe that people have been forced to stay home, causing businesses to shutter and lay off workers. And with roughly half of Americans getting their health insurance from their employer, these layoffs mean not only losing their income but also their medical coverage. In other words, just as our need for medical care skyrockets in the face of a global pandemic, fewer will have health insurance or be able to afford it. According to one recent report, the cost of treatment for Covid-19 can run around $35,000. As the patient in the report exclaimed: “I was pretty sticker-shocked. I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.”

So, how did we get to such a dire place? Many will sadly lose their jobs over the coming weeks – with one estimate projecting as many as 30%. And as they do, Americans are about to learn something horrifying: how irrational and irresponsible it is for so many to be dependent on employers for health insurance. Take it from me. I’m a former health insurance executive who once profited from this system. It’s time for it to stop.

America needs to finally get out of the business of linking health coverage to job status. Even in better times, this arrangement was a bad idea from a health perspective. Most Americans whose families depend on their employers for coverage are just a layoff away from being uninsured. And now, when many businesses are shutting down and considering layoffs, it’s a public health disaster. Across the country we’re seeing reports of layoffs in almost all industries. As we approach a global recession, some analysts suggest that a million or more US workers will lose their jobs in April alone. Consider what this means for health care in this country.


Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II@RevDrBarber: This virus is teaching us that from now on, living wages,


Sociopath Trump Administration: Don't accept help from Cuba

Cuba is offering to send doctors to more countries struggling with the coronavirus. But don't accept their help, the US State Department says.


In Defense Of Coronavirus Testing Strategy, Administration Cited Retracted Study

Post updated 8:15 a.m. March 27, to reflect that the abstract in PubMed has been marked retracted.

When asked why the United States didn't import coronavirus tests when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ran into difficulty developing its own, government officials have frequently questioned the quality of the foreign-made alternatives.

But NPR has learned that the key study they point to was retracted just days after it was published online in early March.

Top officials in the Trump administration have alluded to this study, including Dr. Deborah Birx, who coordinates the White House coronavirus task force. "It doesn't help to put out a test where 50% or 47% are false positives," she said at a White House briefing on March 17, explaining why health officials didn't accept tests from other countries.

Food and Drug Commissioner Stephen Hahn cited the figure as well during an interview on Morning Edition on Friday.

"It's really important to understand, getting an accurate and reliable test on the market's important," he told host David Greene. "Our team can provide you with an abstract that was recently published in the literature about a test that was performed in another country that demonstrated a 47% false positive rate. Now, think about that, David. What that means is that if you had a positive test, it was pretty close to a flip of a coin as to whether it was real or not."


Autonomous Tenants Union: Amidst the #COVID19 crisis, many are worried about how they'll pay rent


COVID-19 Is The Best Argument Yet For a Wealth Tax

Amid a historic crisis, billionaires are keeping their money to themselves.

By Michael Hobbes


The coronavirus pandemic is the perfect opportunity for billionaires to justify their existence.

For years, wealthy Americans have argued that philanthropy was essential to a functioning society. In contrast to unwieldy, inefficient government programs, private donors have the ability to take swift action and deliver social impact free of bureaucracy.

“My wife and I set up a foundation about 20 years ago,” computer magnate Michael Dell said last year in response to a Democratic proposal to enact a wealth tax. “I feel much more comfortable with our ability as a private donation to allocate those funds than I do giving them to the government.”

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz made the same case, arguing that taxing wealth robs billionaires of their capacity to invest in private and public innovation. Philanthropy, Bill Gates said when asked about a wealth tax at The New York Times’ Dealbook conference last year, “plays a role that neither the private sector or the government is able to do.”


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC: To clarify, $1200 checks are ONLY going to some w/social sec numbers,


Naomi Klein @NaomiAKlein: Objecting to the jobs created by FDR under the New Deal,


Grand Old Party of Sociopaths
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