The powder keg has been building for decades now, and recent events have been both a consequence (our national failure to mount anything close to an effective response to COVID-19 before it was too late) and a spark (recent civil unrest from pent-up rage over both persistent racial injustice and increasing police-state authoritarianism, along with the toxic effects of the lockdowns). Throw in record levels of unemployment and economic anxiety followed by the cliff that results from the impending and abrupt ending of the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits come July 31 (unless extended further).
But the biggest flashpoint of all is yet to come in a few months from now: the 2020 presidential election. Whichever side wins, the other side loses, and plenty of people on the losing side will be very, very angry.
It is probably not too late to stop a full-blown civil war and/or collapse before the Rubicon is crossed, but that window is closing very, very fast indeed.
So what do we need to do to save the Republic (again) before it is too late? I mean, we really don't want to give the reich-wing accelerationists like the Boogaloo movement the satisfaction, right? For starters:
- Immediately implement Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all, no strings attached, via federal or central bank money creation. Start it at $2000 per month for everyone over 18 and $1000 for everyone under 18, for three months, then drop it to half that amount ($1000 and $500, respectively) indefinitely.
- Immediately implement single-payer Medicare For All. Yesterday. And along with that, increase much-needed funding for hospitals and healthcare providers across the board.
- For both above items, include anyone with a SSN or ITIN, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. No means test, no discrimination, no perverse incentives. And no bank account required--use debit cards whenever needed.
- Free college (and trade school) for all, thus improving stagnant economic mobility.
- Implement the rest of Rodger Malcolm Mitchell's Ten Steps to Prosperity as well. That includes, among other things, progressively taxing the very rich 0.1% very heavily to reduce inequality.
- Implement the Green New Deal, including a federal job creation program.
- Implement much-needed and long-overdue reforms to police nationwide, rooting out structural racism and abuses of power. Yesterday. What are we waiting for?
- Extend any moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures for an additional 30 days or until the aforementioned UBI payments reach everyone, whichever is longer.
- It should go without saying, but DO NOT LOCK DOWN EVER AGAIN! Even in the worst COVID-19 hotspots, mandatory mask requirements and bans on very large gatherings are sufficient to prevent a worst case scenario at this point.
- And of course, we must go back to actually being a Constitutional Republic rather than an unconstitutional empire. No more over-bloated military and unnecessary wars of choice to make the rich richer.