Last light, Stone Steps © Robert Sommers 2023

Friday, May 1, 2020

Cost of goods

It was a very long and strenuous day. Difficult. I shan't bore you with all the specific details. I thought I had another uti, my third, and went to see my doctor down at Mercy this morning. More antibiotics I suppose. But it turns out I don't have an infection, she surmises that the full dose of the immunotherapy I am now rocking is causing what feels like a minor civil war in my bladder. Very irritating.

We made a medicine change, hopefully will allay things.

I opened a past due notice from my bank, who had forgot that they had given me a forbearance deal two months ago. So an hour on the phone with them and then things got chippy with a phone guy who decided to cut off my internet and give the binding position on the pole to a new neighbor.

Then two hours paying bills. Mayday, mayday, he cried. 

I had a friend ask me an interesting question today. Would I give up meat eating if I had to? Now I am a huge carnivore and it would probably be tough but I think I would. Because I am so angry about what is happening in this country at the meat packing plants.

Did you know that many red states do not want to give unemployment to the meatpackers who are afraid to return to work for fear of getting sick and dying? Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee are among the states looking into this. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds warned that workers who did not return to work would be considered a “voluntary quit” and not be eligible for unemployment benefits.

And I was thinking, it just so happens that many of the workers at these facilities forced to stay open by federal proclamation are Latino or black, many are undocumented. Osha won't look into what is happening at the plants. and worker safety groups are being forbidden from entering them.
Latinos have been hit hard by the coronavirus, representing a high number of hospitalizations and deaths compared with their share of the overall population, according to early data tracking cases by ethnicity. A disproportionate number of meatpackers are people of color and immigrants — 44 percent are Latino and 25 percent are African American, according to an analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.Latinos are also the least insured population in the country, according to the Office of Minority Health, making them less likely to seek medical care if infected by the coronavirus.“The majority of these workers are either Latino workers or some of them undocumented or refugee workers from other countries,” Castro said in an interview.
So I think what we are doing is effectively creating a permanent brown slave class again, a pretty much expendable group that will do the dirty work and risk their lives, without adequate protection and without the ability to sue their employers. And these poor people will most probably take the deal because they are hungry and have families to feed. And the rest of us can pretend its not happening because the only important thing is that we get our pork chops and the cost in human lives is really none of our concern. Let's hope we don't run out of slaves.

“They treat you like you’re nothing, like you’re an animal."


Roy Jhciacb Cohen said...

Rumor has it there’s an unlimited supply of brown slaves being kept in tent cities just below the border. We can always make a withdrawal from that fabulous bank…

Jon Harwood said...

It is starting to feel like living in the 1930s with Pinkertons and wobblies slugging it out in the streets.

Wilbur Norman said...

Three huge conglomerates control 70% of the beef put on the table in the U.S. Yes, prices for beef are relatively low (partly because of cheap federal permits to graze cows on the people's land) but, just as we see with banks that are "too large to fail", when a crises hits we remember that a de-centralized meat industry like we used to have in America is a far better option - in every way and. maybe, only costs a little more.

Liz said...

all it genocide.

Anonymous said...

meat is murder

Blue Heron said...

Modern slaves