Does Letting People Work Constitute Assault on Workers?

Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, two of the three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, write:

The Canadian COVID-19 lockdown strategy is the worst assault on the working class in many decades. Low-risk college students and young professionals are protected; such as lawyers, government employees, journalists, and scientists who can work from home; while older high-risk working-class people must work, risking their lives generating the population immunity that will eventually help protect everyone. This is backwards, leading to many unnecessary deaths from both COVID-19 and other diseases.

This is from their recent article titled “Canada’s COVID-19 Strategy is an Assault on the Working Class,” AIER, December 4, 2020.

When I read the first sentence in the paragraph above, I thought the authors would go in the direction I’ve been speaking and writing about since April. I thought they would make the point that while many professionals can work from home and, therefore, don’t suffer much of an income loss, many working class people have been put out of work by government lockdowns. Think bars, restaurants, hair salons, nail salons, etc.

But that’s not the direction they go in. They write:

older high-risk working-class people must work, risking their lives generating the population immunity that will eventually help protect everyone.

I run into these people a fair amount at Lucky, Safeway, Trader Joe’s etc. To the extent they express themselves on the issue, a substantial majority of the ones I’ve talked to are thrilled that they are allowed to work. The working class people who I’ve noticed are most upset are those whom the government has prohibited from working.

Forcibly preventing people from working = assault on the working class.

Allowing people to work and take risks does not = assault on the working class.

 

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