Nothing anyone says is apt to change our political situation. Nothing Congress tries to pass that will help working class people will ever get passed as long as the Senate represents a small minority of Americans (and actually even those people aren't represented well,) a situation that won't change anytime soon if ever.
Noam covers a lot of topics in this interview that won't change anything, but IMO it's interesting reading.
Here's the first question followed by Noam's response:
In the United States, COVID-19 has resulted in more than seven hundred thousand dead. Globally, the death toll is in the millions. Vaccines have been effective, yet thereís a significant resistance to getting vaccinated, particularly in the United States. Why? What makes some people susceptible to conspiracy theories about getting vaccinated?
We should look at exactly whatís happening. If you look at global maps, like the kind that the New York Times posts every day, the United States stands out. Itís the main global hot spot outside of Mongolia and a couple of others. If you look closely, itís not the United States. Itís selected parts of the United States. Overwhelmingly, itís the old Confederacy and a couple of outliers like Idaho and Wyoming, which are rock-ribbed Republican states. Thereís even been analysis by counties by now, and it turns out that thereís a quite sharp difference between counties that voted for Joe Biden and counties that voted for Donald Trump. So, to a very substantial extent, itís a partisan issue.
Parts of the Left have bought into this, too. Theyíre not statistically significant as compared with the mass refusal on the part of Republicans. And, in fact, the last poll I saw showed that over 50 percent of Republicans said they were not going to get vaccinated. So itís not just that the country is refusing ó very substantially, itís a Republican issue.
Itís very serious. The hospitals in Republican areas like Idaho and Alabama are being crushed by COVID cases. Some states have had to stop providing regular services in hospitals because they have no beds. (Actually, in a minor way, that happened to me, too: I couldnít get to a hospital that I needed to because they had no beds. It wasnít terrible. I survived.)
Apart from the social cost, which is huge, theyíre endangering people. The unvaccinated are endangering others. Theyíre severely endangering children who canít get vaccinated yet. They have no protection. Theyíre even endangering the vaccinated. I mean, the vaccine is very effective, but not 100 percent. So theyíre endangering the vaccinated, too. And on top of that, theyíre creating a pool in which the virus can mutate freely, maybe leading to variants that might not even be treatable. It could be a raging, untreatable pandemic.
Why is this done? Liberty? Thereís no such liberty. Thereís no liberty that allows you to drive through a red light because you feel like it and you donít want to be inhibited. Nobodyís ever claimed such a liberty. Itís outlandish. You want to hurt people? Okay. Go find a plot of land somewhere, sit on it, donít take any benefits from the government, and donít take any responsibilities. The whole libertarian thing is pure nonsense.
Furthermore, weíve had vaccine mandates ó strict ones. Much stricter than now, for years. You canít send your kid to school without a vaccine, and rightly. Why should you be able to endanger other children? Thatís been in place for a long time. There are no real mandates now. Whatís called ďmandatesĒ have an alternative: you can agree to get tested every week or two. This is, I think, a symptom of severe social disorder ó social collapse of a party that has simply gone rogue.
Thatís not just my opinion. Recently, the Financial Times ó the major business newspaper in the world, sober, conservative ó their leading correspondent, Martin Wolf, a highly respected conservative analyst, wrote a column in which he said itís just indescribable. He said the Republican Party has become a group of crazed radicals dedicated to reactionary policies.
The Republicans have been holding the country hostage by refusing to agree to the perfectly normal procedure of raising the debt ceiling to account for things that have already been done. When Trump was in office, he made a huge increase in the deficit with his lavish gifts to the rich; the Democrats went along with it, raised the debt ceiling every time it was necessary. Republicans wonít do it. In fact, they finally just now agreed, as long as conditions were imposed to block any form of mandate for small and medium-size businesses.
In other words, you want to harm the employees in a restaurant? Feel free to do it. Itís your right to harm them. Thatís the Republican Party. They also tried to cut off funding for Afghan refugees. I mean, the political leadership is just a gang of sadists. And the shamelessness is indescribable. Take the hearing for Milley.