Letter: Now is time to redistribute wealth

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 24, 2020

As a great many states, including our own, push to reopen their economies, the American left should say the following, in no uncertain terms: we should not want to reopen the economy in its pre-COVID-19 form.

Of course the economy must reopen, following the most stringent of guidance from public health experts (if not always that of appointed officials). It is also true that we don’t need more bombast, lies and rhetoric from the Trump White House. We certainly don’t need 50 states moving in different directions. We do need a national policy which is based on science, but we also need a new science of political economy that works for all, not just the 1%.

Everyone is now willing to soberly nod their heads and mumble, as though it were an inconsequential concession to common wisdom or public opinion, that no society, nation or state can function effectively without the market and that alternative planning is impossible. Some even might say that the market is apart of human nature. This insidious proposition cannot stand unchallenged. It is, in my opinion, the most crucial terrain of ideological struggle today; if you let it pass by because it seems merely an “inconsequential concession” or, worse, because you really believe it in your heart of hearts, then socialism and Marxism (along with democracy itself) will have become delegitimated.

The meager distribution of stimulus checks to a portion of American citizens is insufficient. If there’s anything I hope we learn from this painful experience, it is that we create an economy and a government that works for all, not just the few and wealthy campaign contributors. While working people struggle to survive, the rich are reaching unthinkable levels of wealth. It is far past time to redistribute that wealth.

— William Clark