In case you haven’t noticed, a combination of high inflation (largely from corporations taking hefty profits and blaming it on other things), high demand for gasoline, and uncertain supplies caused by war in Ukraine has driven gas prices through the roof these days . Despite that, 100% lawfully-elected President Joe Biden is urging Americans to “return to the office,” even as COVID variants continue to kill thousands of Americans each day. This is wrong. What Biden should do — what he needs to do — is issue a national “work from home” order.
And he needs to do it sooner than later.
Biden Wants Us Back at Work
“It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” said President Biden during his State of the Union address on March 1st. “People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office.”
The President doubled down just a few days later, on March 4th. “Because of the progress we’ve made fighting COVID,” he said, dismissing utterly the 50,000 new cases still being reported daily (as of the CDC’s numbers on March 2), “Americans can not only get back to work, but they can go to the office and safely fill our great downtown cities again.”
Other Democrats seemed to fall in line, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who came out against indefinite remote work, saying that New Yorkers “can’t stay home in your pajamas all day.” At the same time, Business Insider is reporting that several Democratic governors have broadly sought to roll back mask mandates and encourage their urban workforces to return to downtown business districts, many of which have been hit hard by the lack of foot traffic to local businesses.
Forgive me if I missed the memo, but aren’t Democrats supposed to be the ones who puts people, not businesses, first?
The Worst Possible Time to Go Back to Work
There has never been a better time to buy an EV! $7.25/gallon is INSANE. pic.twitter.com/Hhbs7Uhw92
— Zack (@BLKMDL3) March 4, 2022
That is a real picture of real gas prices in California a few nights ago, and they’ve only gone up since. This is all, too, in a period of massive monetary inflation that’s been piling on the top of the decades worth of stagnant wages. The result? More Americans than ever — nearly two out of three, in fact — are now living “paycheck to paycheck.”
“We are all seeing the cost of everything shooting up,” said Anuj Nayar, financial health officer at LendingClub. Nayar notes that paying more for gas and groceries is hitting households particularly hard. “You’ve got to eat, you’ve got to commute; These are not discretionary expenses.”
Oh — and student debt? That’s also at an all-time high, and instead of the $10,000 of student debt relief Biden promised voters during his campaign, the Biden Administration is aggressively collecting on those loans, even taking terminal cancer patients to court to make sure they don’t get a chance to disperse their student loans through bankruptcy (though, good people that they are, they’re waiting to see if she lives before taking her to court).
So, to recap: gas prices are at an all-time high, inflation is skyrocketing, rent is climbing, wages are stagnant, people are dying, and Democratically-elected POTUS Joe Biden wants us all to get in our cars and drive to work .
Bad For Us, Bad For the Planet
Collective failure of #ClimateChange negotiations over the last 30 years. 🤦♂️
Carbon dioxide levels still going up ⬆️ causing rising global temperatures 🌡
1.2°C and rising ➡️ 🌪💨⛈🌀🌊🔥🥵https://t.co/TWP2CkGFMs pic.twitter.com/PN4iWQqoxI
— Professor Mark Maslin 💙 (@ProfMarkMaslin) March 8, 2022
Yeah. It’s … not a good scene. Environmentally, it’s just as bad. Atmospheric carbon emissions are nearly twice what they were a generation ago, and the most feared aspects of climate are playing out almost daily around the world.
Getting of millions people back into cars and back into that rush hour rat race isn’t going to be good for them, and it’s certainly not going to be good for the planet. That’s not to mention the existential threat of nuclear war that is looming over us all these days.
Do you want to be ten miles from your kids, dutifully waiting for your spreadsheets to print on the office printer while “the guys” talk about basketball around the office watercooler, when you hear about Putin’s next nuclear escalation? I, for one, couldn’t think of anywhere less — and I hope President Biden puts the safety, health, and well-being of the American people ahead of the wealth of downtown’s commercial real estate holders and calls for a national work from home.
The 99% will be better off if he does.
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